Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are the faces of MMA for many people, but arguably the two biggest stars UFC has had in recent years are Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. They’re also a pair of stars that may never return to UFC, as Lesnar is now suspended from MMA for one year for doping violations, and UFC President Dana White is hesitant to confirm whether they’ll use Punk for more fights after his tragic loss.
TMZ Sports caught up with White and got his take on the two stars. They asked him first whether Lesnar will be coming back when his suspension is up, and White said he doesn’t think that’s very likely.
“I’m [on great terms] with Brock. I doubt [we’ll see him in the UFC again]. I don’t know how much longer he’s got with WWE. I think his career is winding down, but he’s a freak of nature, so who knows? Maybe he’ll give me a call and say he’s ready to do it again, but I think he’s ready to ride off into the sunset. We haven’t talked about it.”
And when asked about whether Punk will be stepping into the Octagon again, White was similarly unsure, but he continued his stance of being extremely careful not to say no, and to have only positive things to say about the guy with one of the most notoriously lampooned MMA debuts in history.
“He and I have not figured that out yet, but we will. I don’t know. I’ve got to talk to him and see how this thing works out for him. UFC’s a dangerous place. It really is. It’s a tough place to come in for your first couple of fights. I give him all the credit [and] respect in the world for coming in and giving it a shot. It’s a tough place to do it, though. So we’ll see what happens. I love the guy.”
So you’re saying there’s a chance.
The possibility of Lesnar returning to MMA was always going to be a 50/50 proposition, but after his USADA suspension, it’s probably a very long shot now. Of course, we all thought that before he popped up at UFC 200, too.
As far as Punk, there’s way too much interest and popularity and way too much money involved for UFC to leave it on the table. He’ll fight in the Octagon again, and he’ll do another monster gate and pay-per-view number. He’s probably just hoping he can make it past the first round next time. It’s the little victories you need to look forward to.