There have been rumors of WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar returning to the UFC and last night’s UFC 226 event all but confirmed the third coming of the Beast.
Lesnar was cageside for the main event bout between UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier and UFC Heavyweight title holder Stipe Miocic. After Cormier knocked out Miocic in the first round to win the heavyweight title – and become the second fighter in history to hold world titles in two weight divisions – he challenged Lesnar. Not one to resist a callout, Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, entered the cage and shoved the new champion.
Take your pick ⬇️ #UFC226
— UFC (@ufc) July 8, 2018
According to reports, the United States Anti-Doping Administration confirmed Lesnar is back in the drug testing pool. There is speculation he will face Cormier at UFC 230, which is slated for Madison Square Garden on Nov. 3. Keep in mind fight fans, the fight isn’t official until the UFC confirms the date and the fight.
Even the WWE has gotten in the Lesnar-Cormier fight hype. Shortly after UFC 226, WWE published a news brief about Lesnar’s appearance and confrontation with Cormier at the event. The article even included the photo Lesnar took with White during the Elimination Chamber event weekend.
White also confirmed that Lesnar’s current WWE deal allows him to fight for the UFC. Lesnar training for a UFC bout would explain why he isn’t making many appearances on WWE TV, and how he is still holding the Universal title. Although WWE is scripted, having him drop the belt might his hurt his stock in the eyes of the UFC.
WWE and UFC are competing brands who promote different products, but it’s not much of a surprise to see them hyping the potential showdown between Cormier and Lesnar. When Lesnar made his first return to the UFC in 2016, WWE promoted his UFC 200 bout with Mark Hunt while UFC showed advertisements of the Beast’s Summerslam match with Randy Orton.
It’s not just Lesnar’s WWE matches the UFC has promoted. The company has lightly promoted Ronda Rousey’s WWE run and have aired ads for WWE 2K18 video game on pay per view events. As someone who has watched professional wrestling and mixed martial arts for a long time, it’s kind of mind blowing seeing WWE and UFC cooperate, especially given the animosity between the wrestling and MMA communities.
Given their personas, the build for Lesnar-Cormier could be great. Fans should expect WWE and UFC to co-promote Lesnar-Cormier and if the companies put forth the effort, there could be different narratives to play with.
One potential storyline is a revenge angle. Lesnar is going after Cormier because he is the heavyweight champion, but DC is also the training partner and friend of Cain Velasquez, the man who took the UFC belt from Lesnar in 2010.
Cormier could go for the obvious and bring up Lesnar’s failed drug test that resulted in his win against Hunt being overturned. DC is no stranger to having his fight resume affected because of failed drug tests. He was scheduled to defend the Light Heavyweight title against Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 200, but the fight was scrapped after the latter’s doping violation. Cormier would later face and drop the title to Jones at UFC 214, but Bones would be stripped of the belt after he tested positive for Turbinol. Cormier would be reinstated as Light Heavyweight champion.
There’s the possibility of Cormier showing up on WWE TV to call out Lesnar. Cormier is a wrestling fan. Given the potential of how much money this fight could make, it’s likely fans would see him on RAW and at WWE events to promote the feud and get in Lesnar’s face.
The idea of an MMA fighter not signed with WWE being on RAW might irritate fans who don’t like seeing “part-timers” receive a spotlight, but once they see how much Cormier loves the wrestling business, they will welcome him into the fold.
One way to have Cormier on WWE programming is to have him appear at Summerslam. There is speculation Lesnar will defend the Universal title against Roman Reigns – but other names have been kicked around, including Seth Rollins.
Having Cormier appear at Summerslam to cost Lesnar the title, or corner Rollins would receive a big ovation. It would also be organic since Cormier has referred to Rollins as one of his favorite wrestlers. There is a video of Cormier cheering when Rollins won the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 31.
WWE fans can criticize Lesnar for his schedule, his lackluster matches and recent booking, but he is a draw – and his fight with Cormier could be one of the biggest MMA bouts in years. Folks might be irritated because Lesnar is competing in UFC and not in WWE, but his presence in MMA will bring more eyes to the product, which will benefit both companies and their performers.
Former WWE Star Lanny Poffo Dies at 68
Former WWE star Lanny ‘The Genius’ Poffo has reportedly died at the age of 68, according to his close friend “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, although no cause of death has been given at the time of this writing.
Poffo made his in-ring debut with the All-South Wrestling Alliance back in 1974, and also wrestled for a number of promotions such as the National Wrestling Alliance where he won a tag-team title with his father, Angelo.
Poffo debuted for WWE back in 1985 where he would be known as “Leaping Lanny Poffo” and “The Genius.”
Poffo would return to WWE back in 2015 to induct his brother, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, into the WWE Hall of Fame in a touching induction ceremony ahead of WrestleMania 31.
“With a very, very heavy heart, I’ve been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius,” Duggan said on Twitter.
Braun Strowman Talks Brock Lesnar Shooting On Him at Royal Rumble
WWE superstar Braun Strowman has had a number of memorable moments during his career at WWE, but none are quite like the 2018 Royal Rumble where Brock Lesnar got upset with Strowman for catching him with a knee.
Lesnar didn’t take to kindly and immediately hit Strowman with a flurry of legitimate punches, including a right hand to his jaw.
“Shit got real” Strowman said, during an interview with BT Sport.
“I mean, at the end of the day it’s two scary guys, two dominant males, not wanting to give an inch to either one, and we took it from each other. Things happen. We’re not playing, we’re not ballet, we’re not badminton. We’re physical. He’s [Lesnar] 300lbs, of just unadulterated animalistic beast and I’m a 385lbs monster. Things happen. At the end of the day, we made one hell of a segment, that’s what really happened.”
“I pat myself on the back. I think I’m the only person in history to take an overhand right from Brock Lesnar and not get knocked out. Anytime you get in the ring with “The Beast” and mix it up, the bigger the challenge the better. If you’re not wrestling the best, then who’d you beat?”
Ex-NJPW Star Karl Fredericks Signs with WWE
Former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Karl Fredericks has officially signed with WWE following the conclusion of his four-year tenure with NJPW. Fredericks announced on social media back in summer 2022 that he would not re-sign with NJPW.
Fredericks was initially linked to WWE last September, when he was reportedly spotted at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
According to PW Insider, Fredericks has officially signed with WWE and will be a part of the NXT brand initially.
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