Brock Lesnar has fallen ill yet again. | Photo: Sherdog.com
Brock Lesnar's diverticulitis has flared up once again, and the former UFC heavyweight champion has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 131 contest against Junior dos Santos.
Stepping in to replace Lesnar will be former title contender Shane Carwin.
“Junior [dos Santos] is a serious fight and not the type of fight that you would normally take on a 30-day notice, but I have a dream to chase and I do not have a lot of time to chase it,” said the 36-year-old Carwin on his official website. “This is an opportunity to put myself in contention for the title. I know my coaches will have me ready so I have everything to gain.”
UFC President Dana White announced the news on Thursday during a conference call. Carwin was originally supposed to face Octagon newcomer Jon Olav Einemo at UFC 131, which goes down June 11 from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Einemo's involvement at the event is now up in the air.
“[Lesnar] spent all day at the Mayo clinic yesterday,” said White. “He's got some serious choices to make whether to fight this thing or [have another] surgery.”
Lesnar stated on the call that he has yet to make a decision regarding another surgery. The former champion was first diagnosed with the intestinal disorder in November 2009 after he pulled out of a UFC 106 bout with Carwin. Lesnar went under the knife that same month to repair a perforation in his intestine.
The former WWE superstar made his return to the cage at UFC 116, finally meeting Carwin in the summer of 2010. After weathering an early storm from Carwin, Lesnar locked up a fight-ending arm-triangle in the second frame to retain his title. Most recently, Lesnar was knocked out by current champion Cain Velasquez in the first round of their UFC 121 main event in October.
Since his surgery, Lesnar asserts that he has diligently managed his diet to combat the condition, but the diverticulitis has affected him in spite of his efforts. There is currently no time table on Lesnar's possible return to the cage, but the heavyweight has stated that his condition will not force him to retire from the sport.
This item was updated at 6:05 p.m. ET to add a quote from Shane Carwin.