Things went full WWE on Saturday night at UFC 226 after Daniel Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic to become the second fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at once. It was a pretty amazing moment, but Cormier didn’t spend much time soaking it up. Instead, he launched straight into a call out of Brock Lesnar, who was sitting cageside watching the fight. Brock entered the Octagon, gave Cormier a shove, and then cut a better promo than we’ve seen in years setting up a fight between the two.
Never mind your concerns about mixed martial arts getting a bit too silly and manufactured. This is a fight that’s going down … if Brock Lesnar can get through a six-month testing period mandated by USADA. The reason he’s being forced to do this is twofold: First, he failed a drug test leading up to his last MMA fight at UFC 200 and still has six months to serve after dipping out of the USADA testing pool to return to WWE. And second, USADA now forces all fighters returning to the UFC to undergo six months of testing before they can compete — a no-exceptions rule made specifically after Lesnar was allowed to fight at UFC 200 on a month’s notice.
Fortunately for Lesnar, the two six-month periods can be served concurrently. In a sane world, that would make Lesnar eligible to fight again near the start of January 2019. But things involving Lesnar and the UFC are rarely that simple, and there’s a chance the two parties and USADA have been hiding Lesnar’s return to the testing pool so they can surprise us with a closer return date.
There’s been rumors of Lesnar secretly entering the testing pool since he had that ultimately pointless back-and-forth with Jon Jones in July of 2017. But there’s a lot more smoke recently, with several reputable MMA journalists like Jeremy Botter putting their name to the story.
Cormier fighting Lesnar and then Jones matches up with a timeline he shared at the UFC 226 post-fight press conference, saying he could fight in November and then March. Lesnar in November, followed by Jones in March? Sounds pretty all right to us.