Here we go again.
Less than 19 months after coming down with a near deadly case of diverticulitis, the disease has relapsed with a steel chair shot to Brock Lesnar's intestines.
While this recurrence is not as serious as Lesnar's first bout with the dangerous intestinal disease, it was more than enough for the former UFC heavyweight champion to have to withdraw from his upcoming UFC 131 main event with Junior dos Santos.
Lesnar was on the line with the media in a last minute conference call today to discuss how the news affects his career going forward, stating defiantly that this latest setback is just that and that he will eventually return to the Octagon.
Hear what he had to say about his future as a mixed martial artist after the jump:
"I want to thank the UFC and Mr. White and I want to apologize to Junior Dos Santos and Spike TV. This is an unfortunate situation for me. I dodged a bullet about two years ago with diverticulitis at that time not knowing what the problem was. I dodged a bullet by not having the surgery. diverticulitis is an illness that never goes away. It's something that I've dealt with since my first occurrence and I've been battling. It's something that's in your colon for the rest of your life. I've been able to maintain it to the point where it was tolerable. I was able to go through two training camps for Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez and I made it through those camps without having any symptoms and I've been dealing with symptoms for the last three months."
"I felt a little bit while I was filming the Ultimate Fighter and the only way to treat the symptoms is by getting on antibiotics and allowing the antibiotics to take its course and fight the infection. During the course of this training camp, I felt another infection. I got a CT scan on my stomach and there was visible inflation. What it does is it didn't allow me to train to my full capabilities and I was forced to make a decision to go back down to the doctor this week to see how far this was along and what it does is it drains my entire body. Basically you've got an infection in your stomach and all my resources went to fighting this problem instead of rebuilding what I tore down in the gym."
"It's not as serious as last time, it just didn't allow me to train the way I needed to train for a number one contender's bout. I am forced with the decision to either have surgery or deal with this for the rest of my life so obviously I'm fighting a different fight here than having to give up the fight on June 11th. A lot of things go through your mind as an athlete especially for myself. This is something that has been wearing on me for about a month now and different thoughts come to your mind. It wouldn't be fair to myself or my family or the people I perform in front of in the Octagon. I wouldn't have been 100% because I'm not there now and I had to make the decision this week to give the UFC enough time and I have enough respect for them to understand that I don't want to jeopardize. My health is number one. My family is number one and it was a hard decision. I'm choked up about it and there's nothing I can do."
For those 'doom and gloomers' out there, Lesnar wanted to make one thing clear, he's not ready to give up yet:
"I'll tell you one thing. I'm not retiring. This isn't the end of my fight career. This is something that I believe that there is a solution to every problem. I just have to find the right solution to fix this problem. I love this sport and I love what I do. This isn't the end of Brock Lesnar. This is a speed bump in the road and trust me, I've incurred a lot of speed bumps throughout my career and this is one of them. Instead of not facing the music, I'm here telling everybody because I've been here before and I want to make it all known. I want to state that this is not the end of my career. Far from it."
The former Minnesota Gopher then discussed whether or not he's contemplating what could be career altering surgery to his intestines:
"I've got to follow up with my doctors and weigh the risk and rewards (of surgery) ... I was at the Mayo Clinic for 14 hours yesterday with doctors and CT scans trying to figure everything out ... We're waiting on a number of different tests to come back. We haven't even had the conversation. Today to June 11th, I can't be well enough prepared to face Junior Dos Santos so that was the first thing I had to address and pull out of this fight because it didn't make any sense. I have three weeks of training camp and I'm no where that I need to be right now for a number one contender's fight. I've got more doctor's appointments to follow up with. I don't know the risks if there are any. It has to be better than what I've been dealing with the last two years. I'm looking for the light at the end of the tunnel is what I'm looking out for."
In one of his more interesting statements, Lesnar also stated that he wasn't 100 percent in either of his most recent fights since making the big comeback in 2010:
"I believe that I haven't been 'that guy.' Even in my comeback fight against Shane Carwin, I felt ok but I'd say that maybe I was 85 or 90%. The Velasquez fight was just pushing myself to another limit. I told my wife and everybody else around about a week ago that 'I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.' We've got to find the solution to this. The fighter inside of me, the person that I am, doesn't want to back down from a fight. My health and my family are more important than stepping in the Octagon. I don't care how much money, they could throw all the money in the world. The one thing I have found out through all this is that my family, if you don't have your health and your family, you don't have diddly squat."
Very interesting indeed. Despite his confident remarks, it's still unclear if Lesnar is going to be able to recover from this relapse.
Will he ever be the man who pounded Frank Mir at UFC 100 again? It's anyone's guess at this moment in time.
But the soon-to-be 34-year-old isn't getting any younger. And the relatively novice mixed martial artist will be spending his time recovering, not training, which is yet another strike against the box office behemoth.
That's as real as it gets.