On Saturday night at UFC 214, Jon Jones pummeled his longtime rival Daniel Cormier into unconsciousness and followed it up by calling out WWE superstar and occasional cage fighter Brock Lesnar. The two had engaged in some minor back and forth smack talk after rumors of a Lesnar return to the UFC resulted in some reporters asking the 205 pound Jones if he’d like to fight the 265 pound behemoth.
“I would love to fight Brock Lesnar,” Jones said during a Facebook Q&A. “He’s a massive dude and it would be a massive draw. Really big for the sport. It’d be a great challenge that’s a big ol’ boy. I doubt Brock Lesnar would take that fight though.”
“Anytime, anywhere,” Lesnar responded.
Don’t get too excited at the prospects of a Jones-Lesnar fight just yet, though. There’s a couple of big hurdles in the way of the big money match up, as UFC president Dana White explained during the UFC 214 post-event press conference.
“I guess Lesnar just talked to the Associated Press, he said ‘Be careful what you wish for, young man,'” White said. “Listen, Lesnar would take six months for him to even go through USADA to fight. So it’s fun to talk about, but the reality of it happening any time soon … it’s not a reality.”
White is referring to the mandatory 6 month USADA testing period all returning UFC fighters need to undergo before they can compete again, something Lesnar was allowed to skip the last time he returned to fight at UFC 200 against Mark Hunt. There’ll be no exemptions for him this time considering he ended up failing a drug test soon after, turning his win into a No Contest and generating a lawsuit from Hunt.
If Lesnar does un-retire and re-enter the USADA testing pool in the next few days, he’ll be eligible to fight in February, right around the time the UFC tries to schedule a big event next to the Super Bowl. But the Wrestling Observer puts forward an interesting point: if the rumors of Brock visiting UFC headquarters and re-entering the USADA testing pool weeks ago are true, he could come back for the UFC’s New Years event.
It’s worth noting, however, that UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky recently denied that Lesnar was back in the USADA pool. And while we’re kind of used to Dana White hiding the truth when it comes to Brock-related stuff, we have our doubts that the UFC’s liaison to USADA would tarnish his credibility to cover up a pro wrestler’s comeback. All the other smoke we’ve been seeing regarding a Lesnar return may be complete fiction as well, possibly even generated by the man himself to hype up his next wrestling appearance or to gain leverage with the WWE.
But as with the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, perhaps all this talk of a hypothetical match and the buzz it’s generated will result in a real fight coming together down the road. Just don’t expect it to happen soon.