LAS VEGAS - JULY 03: Brock Lesnar reacts after his second round submission victory against Shane Carwin to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship Unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 3 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Wherever Brock Lesnar goes, the story goes with him. That's the reason it was quite the shock to see the big lug show up at UFC 146 this past May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But what business did he have being there?
For starters, he had alerted Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White that he would be coming to the show and he requested his presence for a meeting. About what we were not told, but White wasn't shy about hinting at a mixed martial arts (MMA) return for Lesnar, who retired from the sport after losing to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, 2011.
Lesnar went back to pro wrestling shortly thereafter, signing a one-year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for millions of dollars. Reports surfaced saying his deal was non-exclusive, leading many to believe he might actually be entertaining the idea of coming back to the UFC.
But according to Dana White, their meeting couldn't have gone worse (via UFC Tonight).
"The meeting we had didn't really go very well. It wasn't a great meeting. It was probably one of the worst meetings we've ever had with Brock Lesnar. I honestly have not talked to him since, so I don't know where we are at. All the stuff you are seeing on the Internet is typical Internet bullshit. I don't know. It was really bad. It was the worst meeting I've ever had with Brock Lesnar. In my opinion, it couldn't have gone worse."
This comes on the heels of reports that Lesnar has "nuclear heat" with WWE for showing up at the UFC event on his own accord and without permission. His meeting with White only added fuel to a growing fire.
I broke down the story a bit more over at CagesideSeats.com:
This is a dance that will go on until we get an official statement from one or both sides. It should be noted that Dana White has remained quiet on the issue since his meeting with Lesnar and WWE has hardly even mentioned his name since he appeared at UFC 146, though that will change at the No Way Out pay-per-view (PPV) on June 17 when Triple H is scheduled to discuss him.
The story is nearly impossible to keep up with thanks to all the misinformation being bandied about. Some have said Lesnar's WWE deal is non-exclusive, which sounds crazy when we're talking about Vince McMahon, an absolute control freak if there ever was one. Others refuted those reports and said his deal is, in fact, exclusive and he's simply working both sides and "there is a game being played."
I'm inclined to believe Lesnar has gone into business for himself and is playing the UFC against WWE. Perhaps he really wasn't happy with his character's treatment upon his return, especially after the Extreme Rules debacle with John Cena's impromptu post-match promo. Maybe that led him to a UFC event and a meeting with White that served as a message to McMahon and WWE to play ball lest they risk losing him once again.
And with a planned match against Triple H reportedly still set for SummerSlam in August, Lesnar could be playing hardball on how exactly he wants that match to play out.
It certainly looks as though Lesnar has been going into business for himself and doing whatever he can to make the most money, as has always been the case throughout his long career spanning pro wrestling and MMA.
For those hoping Brock would be back inside the Octagon one day, it's probably best to let that go now.