When it was announced that Brock Lesnar would return to mixed martial arts for a fight at UFC 200, the reports were very specific in mentioning it would be a one-off affair for the WWE superstar. But now that fight day is nearly upon us, Brock sounds like a guy who is interested in seeing just how far this second UFC opportunity could go.
“This may be a teaser. I dunno. We’ll see what happens.” Lesnar said with a laugh during Wednesday’s UFC 200 press conference. “I have no idea. I’ll never say never. We’ll see.”
When asked if the WWE would actually let him fight again in the UFC, Brock shrugged. “I guess that’s not a question for me, that’s a question for Vince McMahon. We’ll get through Saturday and we’ll see what happens. After Saturday, I think I’m booked for August.”
That’s a reference to SummerSlam, the big event the WWE hopes will gets a big publicity bump off Brock’s participation in UFC 200. It’s still somewhat unclear how much support Lesnar got from the pro wrestling company to take this fight in the first place. Brock presented it as a deal that made dollars and sense to Vince McMahon, but in a recent interview, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon sounded less than thrilled.
“We are not supporting the fight, necessarily,” she told Business Insider. “But again, it’s not a competitor to us and the more that our superstars, that’s how we refer to our talent, the more they do outside of WWE, the more awareness it generates and the broader the audience can be that is then brought back into our properties. So we recognize the value of that.”
There have also been rumors that the UFC agreed to be less restrictive regarding their fighters appearing in WWE programming in order to lock in the Brock Lesnar deal. Ronda Rousey is obviously a name the WWE has wanted back since her Wrestlemania moment with The Rock in March of 2015, and prospect Paige VanZant’s name has also popped up a few times. So perhaps there’s some leverage for the UFC and Brock to use when trying to extend this ‘one-off’ fight into something more closely resembling a run at the title.
But first, Lesnar has to get past Mark Hunt this Saturday.