LAS VEGAS — Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar returned to the company Saturday and will face UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who defeated Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 226.
“We’re definitely going to make that fight,” said UFC president Dana White, who didn’t have a date or location for the fight yet. “Lesnar hit me up a couple days ago and said, ‘Sorry I went dark on you, but I had some stuff I had to take care of, but I’m going to come to the fight this weekend.’ I said, ‘OK, see you Saturday.’ He came here tonight all fired up.”
Lesnar took a front-row seat at T-Mobile Arena next to White before the championship fight between Miocic and Cormier. White had previously said Lesnar would be returning to the company later this year. Lesnar is currently in WWE, where he is the universal champion.
“As soon as he came to my seat, he was acting like a lunatic,” White said. “He was fired up and excited for this fight. His gut told him Stipe was going to win because he felt Cormier put too much weight on for this fight and that was going to affect him, but it didn’t.”
The plan was for Lesnar to challenge whoever won the main event, White said.
After Cormier, who is also the UFC light heavyweight champion and became only the second two-division champion in company history, defeated Miocic, he grabbed the microphone as if he were on an episode of “WWE Raw” and looked at Lesnar, who was standing outside the Octagon.
“There’s a guy that I’ve known for a long time, he’s a wrestler, he’s an All-American, he’s a former UFC champion, I never thought I would fight him, but Brock Lesnar, get your ass in here,” Cormier said as the crowd erupted.
Lesnar stepped into the Octagon and had to be restrained from attacking Cormier.
“Yeah, you’re strong,” Cormier said. “But everybody’s strong. Push me now, you go to sleep later. Your day is in the past; 2010 is like the stone age.”
Lesnar became the UFC heavyweight champion in 2008 by defeating Randy Couture in just his third fight in the company. He lost the title in 2010 to Cormier’s friend and training partner Cain Velasquez.
On Saturday, White had to get between Lesnar and Cormier before Lesnar got on the microphone himself.
“Let me tell you something, I walked into this building and watched a heavyweight disaster from the beginning,” Lesnar said. “[Francis] Ngannou is a piece of s—. Miocic is a piece of s—. DC, I’m coming for you m—–f—–.”
Lesnar then pushed the microphone into the camera as if he were still in WWE before he was led out of the Octagon.
“I told [Lesnar] to relax and calm down. We get it. There’s going to be a fight. Calm down,” White said. “They were both into it. DC pushed me up against the cage. I’m too old for this s—. You can’t be doing that to me. They were all fired up. Everyone in there was crazy.”
As Lesnar left, Cormier had one final thing to say as his family gathered in the center of the Octagon.
“Hey Brock, get out of my Octagon,” Cormier said. “I got some pictures to take.”
Cormier, 39, and Lesnar are both accomplished amateur wrestlers who have often debated who would win a dream fight if they stepped onto the mat or into the cage.
“They’ve known each other a long time with the whole wrestling thing,” White said. “They talk a lot of s— to each other about wrestling and who would have won in wrestling and who would have done this or that. There is a thing with those two about who would win, and now they’re going to find out.”
The United States Anti-Doping Agency suspended Lesnar for one year in January 2017 because of multiple failed drug tests around UFC 200 on July 9, 2016.
Lesnar came out of a nearly five-year retirement to face Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in Las Vegas. Lesnar won the fight via unanimous decision, but it was later changed to a no-contest after the positive tests were revealed.
Lesnar, who turns 41 on Thursday, retired from mixed martial arts in February 2017, which meant he was no longer included in USADA’s testing pool under UFC’s anti-doping program. Lesnar, who will officially re-enter the pool next week, is still required to fulfill the remaining five months of his suspension, although White said Saturday he was under the impression it was six months.
“The process has started,” White said. “They started the process last week. I don’t know where they are in the process. He’s going to pop up on the board here soon on Monday or Tuesday.”
If the suspension is five months, Lesnar could be back as soon as UFC 232 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas. If the suspension is six months, his return would have to wait until 2019.
In the interim, White said Cormier, 39, could defend his UFC light heavyweight title before getting ready for a UFC heavyweight title fight against Lesnar.