He may be a “jacked white boy,” but mixed martial arts (MMA) fans never got to see Brock Lesnar at his absolute physical peak while competing inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon.
That’s according to Paul Heyman, his longtime friend and manager, who recently broke down Lesnar’s lengthy timeline of injures to Fight Society podcast that ultimately plagued the heavy-handed brawler’s combat sports career.
“I would suggest that Brock is now really now in his physical prime because he was robbed of reaching his full potential as an athlete in his 20’s and early 30’s by diverticulitis,” said Heyman (via FOX Sports).
“If you look back at his career, by the time he was in the NCAA Division I wrestling championships, he was already suffering from diverticulitis. His body, which was so fine tuned and he had done so much to train his body to accomplish the goals he had envisioned for himself,” he continued. “His body was suppressing and using up so much energy and so much of his strength and his ability to suppress the diverticulitis, and finally diverticulitis couldn’t be suppressed. He probably had it throughout his entire college career.”
To hear Heyman tell it, Lesnar went into his short-lived pro football career with one physical setback after another, as well. And despite having a rather impressive run in UFC, winning the promotion’s heavyweight title in just his third fight inside the Octagon (fourth MMA bout overall) Heyman says Lesnar was never in his best shape while competing inside the Octagon.
“So you never saw him at his full potential in college. You never saw him at his full potential in his first run in WWE. He went into the Minnesota Vikings camp not only with the diverticulitis inside of his system but a broken jaw and a fractured pelvis, which he covered in the book that we wrote together and then you never saw him, not once did you see him in UFC at his absolute physical peak.”
Indeed, diverticulitis was one of the reasons that forced Brock to retire from MMA after his loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 back in 2011. But five years later, the hulking heavyweight got the itch to fight once more, answering Dana White’s call to co-headline UFC 200 opposite Mark Hunt, who he defeated via unanimous decision.
Afterward, it was discovered Lesnar failed two post-fight drug tests (details here and here), which prompted an unprecedented backlash from Hunt, which still continues to this day and is only getting uglier by the minute.
“I think what’s next for Brock Lesnar besides what’s happening in WWE, could it be UFC? Could it be another sport? I think it’s something that he’s going to look at and say ‘I bet no one thinks I can do that. All right, I’m going to conquer that’.”
“Besides obviously the greatest payday of his life, it’s the same thing that’s motivating [Conor] McGregor into wanting to fight [Floyd] Mayweather because … I’d have to say a great deal (is obviously) the lure of the enormous payday but a lot of it (is also) the lure of ‘you know what people don’t think I can (beat Mayweather) … and I can!’”
Lesnar will next be in action at the upcoming Wrestlemania 33 event, where he rematches Bill Goldberg in the headlining act of the pro wrasslin’ extravaganza on April 2, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.