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A tribute to Brock Lesnar’s UFC career

Brie Coder

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On, Feb. 14, the “Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar informed fans that he was hanging up his fighting gloves and retiring from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Lesnar began his career in the UFC on Feb. 2, 2008. With five wins, a UFC World Heavyweight championship title and the biggest box office fighter, he forever changed the UFC.

Lesnar began his career back in college when he attended Bismarck State College and the University of Minnesota. As a wrestler, he had a total of 106 wins and five losses. He began his official fighting career as a professional wrestler for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2000. Since he wasn’t fully experienced in front of audiences just yet, he went to Ohio Valley Wrestling School to train more on his fighting skills and TV persona. After working for the WWE for four years, Lesnar decided to leave the company and try out for the NFL to see what his chances were to play in a professional football league. When Lesnar was in high school, he was a football player as well as a wrestler. Lesnar signed to play with the Minnesota Vikings during preseason in July of 2004 but he was eventually released within a month.

Down on his luck in football, Lesnar wanted to see where he could go to continue his legacy. He then joined up with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and got back into the ring once more in 2005. Many great professional wrestlers like Lesnar at one point or another were a part of the NJPW, including A.J. Styles, Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan, Christopher Daniels and many more. For two years, Lesnar was a tough competitor. When he debuted in 2005, he won his first match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. He was one of the few American wrestlers to have held that title. In 2007 he had his final match for NJPW, which was his last match in prowrestling until 2012 when he re-signed with the WWE.

In 2007, after leaving the professional wrestling circuit, Lesnar wanted to continue fighting, but more so in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). He signed on with a company called K-1, which was the platform that opened doors for him to join UFC a year later. In 2008 Lesnar officially signed with UFC and started off on a high note. Within nine months of being in the company, he won the UFC Heavyweight Championship title from Randy Couture by a technical knockout in the second round. Things were looking up for Lesnar, until back-to-back illnesses caused him to miss a lot of time. In 2011 after many surgeries and healing, Lesnar came back and fought once more against Alistair Overeem, and unfortunately lost his championship title. After that match, Lesnar informed fans that was his last match in the octagon.

In 2015 Lesnar felt that he was going to close the door on his MMA career and focus more on his storylines within the WWE. He told reporters that the WWE paid him better money for only working parttime versus working full-time for MMA programs. He also felt that maybe he was getting too old to compete in a younger fighter’s sport. With a lot of back-and-forth thoughts, Lesnar felt that maybe he wasn’t really too old to re-enter the MMA again. So in June of 2016 after a five year hiatus, Lesnar fought once again, against Mark Hunt. He defeated Hunt that night and walked out with $2.5 million. At that time he was still fighting for WWE and had to balance his MMA training and wrestling training.

Lesnar was taking the fighting industry by storm until he tested positive twice for banned substance in July of 2016. He was asked to pay $250,000 along with suspension from fighting for any MMA events for a year. He would’ve been eligible to fight this coming July for UFC, but decided not to wait and retire.

For Lesnar fans out there he isn’t exactly done in the fighting world. Lesnar is still involved with the WWE. He will be facing William Scott Goldberg April 2 at Wrestlemania 33. For years both Lesnar and Goldberg have been going at it storyline-wise and have had some successful fights. Even though Lensar has lost to Goldberg twice, his storyline could change and he could walk out the winner and possibly champion. Rumors in the WWE are speculating that if Goldberg were to win on March 5 at Fastlane (the upcoming payper- view in the WWE currently) Lesnar might have a shot going for the Raw Universal championship against Goldberg. Lesnar has held the World Heavyweight Championship several times in the company. He is also known as the man who broke Undertaker’s (a very well-known WWE legend) Wrestlemania streak 21-1. Lesnar will still fight part-time with the WWE until his contract expires in 2018. Only time will tell if he’ll resign and continue fighting in professional wrestling. Until then fans salute Brock Lesner’s career.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
A tribute to Brock Lesnar’s UFC career