On Thursday, May 12, 2011, the MMA blogosphere received news no one was expecting—former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, pulls out of what would’ve probably been his last shot at going for the division’s title against rival TUF coach, Junior Dos Santos. A fight that, like I implied before, was for the number one contender spot and the chance to face current champion, Cain Velasquez.
Lesnar has relapsed with diverticulitis—an illness that has no cure other than surgery and that is recurrent, triggered by many situations in a person’s life.
Apparently in Lesnar’s case, the strenuous toll that training for a MMA fight is having on his body might have sparked this latest episode, thus forcing him to make the difficult decision of pulling out of such an important, career-defining fight.
Maybe training, maybe being away from home for weeks to coach the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter, as Dana White always says it is a battle to make Lesnar come out his comfort zone a deal with media, let alone spend weeks at a time away from his farmhouse.
At this point, all of you MMA fans have heard or read Lesnar’s reactions, Dana White’s comments, and all sorts of opinions on the subject from virtually every MMA outlet there is, but I heard a very interesting question last Monday—will we ever see Brock Lesnar fight in the UFC again?
That question is what brings us here. My personal opinion is, no, we won’t, but let me explain why I think that way and also share with you opinions from other MMA experts.
Let’s begin by breaking down Brock.
Born in July 12, 1977, Brock is 33 years old today, turning 34 only a day after UFC 131 inVancouver, what was his next appointment inside the cage.
Of course he is no old geezer, but even though he is an amazing athlete and possesses superb physical condition and strength, he is no kid either.
Even though there is no denying that Brock Lesnar is one of the most outstanding athletes in any form of sports in the world and his physical abilities and strength are second to none, the truth is, diverticulitis has made him pull out of two fights in two years.
Many people agree—including Brock—recovery from a condition like diverticulitis considering Lesnar’s way of life (training, the stress of travel, media, and performing), could be very difficult especially for a 33 year old man who already had a life-threatening experience with diverticulitis.
“I dodged the bullet two years ago; I didn’t have the surgery but this is an illness that never goes away. I’ve been battling with it and it will be in my colon for the rest of my life.”
This statement by the former UFC champion and WWE star, is in direct contrast with another of his statements at the conference call where this situation was announced.
“I tell you one thing: I am not retiring. This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar in the Octagon or my fighting career. I want to state this is not the end, far from it. I promise you that.”
If diverticulitis is a recurring condition that can be triggered by many things including the stress a world class, full combat athlete has to undergo both in training and fighting, isn’t it more than obvious that—since Lesnar already had to pull out of two fights in two years—it will continue happening?
Now, one thing is treating the condition with non-invasive procedures such as antibiotic treatment and dieting among others, another one is to have surgery.
What would the recovery time be for a world class, full combat athlete, to be able to get on training mode again? Not to mention, fight again.
Is it safe to take that much damage and put that body under the stress that training, sparring, and promoting fights involve? Would the doctors allow it? Would UFC allow it?
Let’s play a best-case-scenario for a moment. Let’s say Brock does not have to undergo surgery and diverticulitis can be controlled by dieting correctly and antibiotic treatment, what will keep the condition from becoming active again?
Actually, did Lesnar really had the illness under control?
“My immune system is fighting an infection in my own body rather than helping me recover from training. I have to push my body to my limits, and that has made this thing become active again. I believe that I’ve not been more than 85% in my two fights back since this happened the first time.”
Again, what would keep it from becoming active again?
It appears the solution could be hiding behind having a surgery procedure, but then, would he be ever allowed to go to war again?
Is it safe to train or fight after having such a delicate procedure done?
Will Brock Lesnar ever be at 100% again? I’m sure fans don’t want to hear that he lost because he wasn’t at his full potential again. It’s like saying Cain Velasquez was lucky he was sick and that’s why he won.
Last Monday on ProMMARadio with Larry Pepe, I heard a very interesting analogy both from Pep and his guest at the moment—MMA Mania’s Jesse Holland.
PMR’s Larry Pepe: “What do you think the future is for Brock? He says ‘this ia a bump in the road, my fighting career is not over.’ Do you think we see him in the cage again?”
MMA Mania’s Jesse Holland: “I don’t. And the reason I don’t think that is; when you listen to Brock [Lesnar] on the media conference call when this was first announced, what struck me was just how many times he kept saying how his family comes first, his health comes first, fighting is secondary to him, his not sure that living with this illness without surgery and being an ultimate fighter can go hand in hand.
He just kept making a point of it and it didn’t really leave me with a feeling after the call that this is someone who is going to come back to the UFC no matter what.”
At a later point in the conversation Larry Pepe adds “if he doesn’t have surgery, we won’t see him again. But, if he does have surgery, I think we will. The reason I say that is because mentally—and I think that’s a huge part of this as well—like you mentioned, him pulling out close to fights because of this, I think there is a reason for that.
I think that as the training amps up, I think as he gets closer to a fight, as he is putting in more hours, working harder, and maybe the stress of the fight is starting to kick in—I think that mix of factors leads to this.”
At a certain point in the conversation, Jesse Holland interrupts Pep and poses the following question and statement; “Right now he [Brock Lesnar] hasn’t even made a decision about whether or not he needs surgery or if he would even have surgery.
If he has surgery, considering just how invasive that surgery is, you go under the knife, where would you put his return? What’s your time table? Two years, two and a half year? And considering his age, I think, you know…
It’s hard for me to imagine him coming back after that kind of surgery for the amount of time he’d be on the shelf.”
This situation is nothing short from unfortunate for Brock Lesnar and the UFC.
Many will agree on the point that Lesnar is not exactly a well-rounded MMA fighter, that he has too many holes in his game, and that he doesn’t like to get hit (who does but you understand what I mean).
The truth of the matter is that he represents a major draw for the company (not necessarily the case on TUF), and of course, there is another issue called livelihood.
I am more than sure that if Brock Lesnar is not able to fight again in the Octagon, there will be plenty of opportunities for him to make a living in many areas in life.
But that is the question, will we see Brock Lesnar fight again?
I personally think we won’t, but I hope I am mistaken. I wouldn’t want Brock Lesnar to retire from MMA without breaking the tie with Frank Mir at least.
What do you think fight fans?
Whatever the case may be, we at The MMA Truth, our media partners, sponsors, and friends, would like to wish Brock Lesnar a quick recovery and the best of the best for him and his family.
Thank you for reading.
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Originally posted at The MMA Truth.