While the combat sports world nearly witnessed an unimaginable matchup between former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and WWE superstar Brock Lesnar, the potential heavyweight clash fizzled out after “Bones” popped for a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation dating back to his UFC 214 clash with Daniel Cormier.
The absence of Jones is not only going to have a negative effect on the barely breathing UFC light heavyweight division, but now it appears as if it will further delay Lesnar’s return to UFC. Remember, Lesnar is one of the biggest pay-per-view (PPV) draws in UFC history (Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey being the other two) and would have been welcomed back with open arms after 2017’s dismal production.
According to former WWE superstar Bill Goldberg, Lesnar was ready to return next year against Jones. Now that the former UFC light heavyweight king has fallen victim to his second doping violation, “The Beast Incarnate” isn’t too keen on returning to the cage.
“If [Brock Lesnar] wants to return, I think he does, I think he does. I think it may be in his plans,” Goldberg said on a recent edition of The Fighter and The Kid podcast. “Although, yeah, a month ago [it was more likely]. [Jon Jones’ testing positive threw a wrench into it]. Yeah, a huge wrench into it, because if it ain’t Jon, there’s nobody big enough. Nobody, there’s nobody there for him to fight. Conor [McGregor], that’s it, and I only say Conor because he opened his mouth about all the WWE guys.”
If Goldberg has enough inside information regarding Lesnar’s dissipating desire to come back then Jones’ recent USADA mishap hurts the UFC in more than one way. Lesnar isn’t going to return to UFC unless it’s against the perfect opponent. Jones was that opponent.
Like most of us, assuming you’re one of those fans who enjoys impromptu superfights, Brendan Schaub, co-host of The Fighter and The Kid podcast, was devastated after hearing Lesnar may change his mind to step foot back inside of the Octagon.
“You know Goldberg the wrestler?” Schaub asked during a recent edition of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “He’s best friends with Brock [Lesnar] and I said, do you think Brock’s gonna’ come back? He said, ‘He was going to, before Jon [Jones] pissed hot.’ I said, you’re breaking my heart. Don’t that f*ck your Saturday up? That’ll f*ck your Saturday up. How crazy is that? He was going to. We were gonna’ see that monster again.”
Lesnar, 40, last competed at UFC 200 where he originally defeated Mark Hunt via unanimous decision. After failing drug tests before and after UFC 200 Lesnar was suspended, fined, and had his win against “Super Samoan” overturned to a no contest. Despite fighting just once since 2011, the king of WWE would likely produce at least one million PPV buys if he ever decided to return.
So if not Jones, then who? Maybe we can finally get the rematch going.