Rewind back to 2009 and the former UFC Heavyweight Champion was rolling right along in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, riding high as the king of the biggest division in the biggest fight promotion in the world. Then he was hit with diverticulitis, not once but twice, and lost two of his next three fights.
That was enough to drive him out of the sport, as he announced his retirement at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Just a few short months later, there were rumblings that Lesnar was considering returning to his old stomping grounds in WWE. These rumors were quickly confirmed when he showed up on an episode of Monday Night Raw and quickly entered into a program with the company's top star, John Cena, for a match at the following pay-per-view (PPV) entitled Extreme Rules.
All seemed to go well until reports started making their way out that Lesnar was unhappy with a few key parts of the match and the storyline and that he was threatening to quit the company. In pro wrestling, there is a constant blurring of the line between what's known as a work (a part of the script, or something being fake) and a shoot (not a part of the script, or something being real).
Which made it hard to determine if Lesnar was really unhappy or if WWE just wanted us to think as much.
The storyline continued on the next week with Brock attacking the on-screen authority figure before walking out and having his representative, Paul Heyman, act in his place. He would sue WWE over a contract dispute and wouldn't come back until it was resolved.
Now, he pops up at UFC 146: "Dos Santos vs. Mir" last night to sit cageside with UFC President Dana White during the main event between two men he knows very well, Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir. At first glance, this doesn't mean much of anything other than Lesnar is a fight fan and he was here to see the show.
That is until White revealed there was more to the story.
As it turns out, Brock was there to talk business. This little meeting was set up beforehand, actually. This according to Bryan Alvarez of F4Wonline, who tweeted as much from the post-fight media scrum with White in "Sin City:"
"Brock texted Dana a week and a half ago and said he wanted to come to show, and to keep it secret. Dana says he and Brock are going to talk later tonight."
Obviously, that's a pretty big bombshell, especially considering the fact that word has already gotten out that a potential return to MMA is in the works for Lesnar.
But what about his deal with WWE?
If you recall, Lesnar signed a one-year contract for what was believed to be around $5 million, no small price for a company that isn't used to handing out such large checks to its performers. But there are now reports floating around, completely unsubstantiated at this point, that his WWE deal is non-exclusive and if he wants to return to MMA, even if only for one fight, he is able to do so.
Now, this is where it gets interesting.
Speaking from experience from working in the pro wrestling field, and as the Managing Editor of CagesideSeats.com, this entire thing smells fishy. It's entirely possible Lesnar is unhappy with the environment at WWE and after spending a month back in pro wrestling, he's decided he wants to come back to the (mostly) unscripted world of MMA.
But it's also just as possible that Lesnar has absolutely no intentions of coming back to fight inside the Octagon and this is all just a work perpetrated by WWE head honcho Vince McMahon and his cast and crew. After all, what better way to get publicity for his promotion than sending Lesnar to a major heavyweight fight and having him tease going back to the UFC? It's certainly not the first time something like this has happened.
Remember Undertaker showing up at UFC 121 and trying to pick a fight with Lesnar during an on-camera interview with Ariel Helwani?
For this to be a work, though, that would mean one of two things regarding Dana White: 1) He knows and is willfully going along with it as a favor to WWE or 2) He doesn't know and he's a mark who is being played and doesn't even realize it. At this point and with this little information available at present time, I'm not leaning either way.
But it smells fishy, Maniacs.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com as we'll keep you up to date on the latest on this developing story. For what it's worth, so far most respected pro wrestling writers are acting as though this is all legitimate and not part of a WWE approved storyline.
Again, keep it locked as this is just the beginning.