When Brock Lesnar dropped the Universal Championship to Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 35, it looked like an obvious sign that the former would make his long anticipated return to the UFC.
Lesnar and Daniel Cormier were supposed to square off after years of teasing and talking about the dream fight. But according to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com, Lesnar informed UFC president Dana White that he's not fighting for the company again, and Cormier will go up against Stipe Miocic on Aug. 17 instead.
"He (Lesnar) told me he's done," White said, via Okamoto. "He's retired."
With Lesnar deciding to retire from MMA competition, it certainly opens the door for him to return to the WWE in the immediate future. Lesnar has wrestled for Vince McMahon on a part-time basis since returning to WWE in 2012, allowing him to keep a flexible schedule and thus fight for UFC whenever he so desired.
But Lesnar - who turns 42 on July 12 - has simply decided that it's time to move on from a storied yet somewhat brief career in the ring. As Okamoto pointed out, Lesnar had last fought at UFC 200 back in July 2016. Lesnar defeated Mark Hunt, but he later failed a pair of drug tests which led to a no-contest ruling, per Okamoto.
Lesnar is one of the highest paid superstars in WWE, and with the UFC no longer part of his career, it's easy to believe he'll return to the squared circle in short time. After all, Lesnar has been back with WWE for seven years now, and it's easy money for a superstar working on a part-time basis.
It's unknown when Lesnar will next show up for WWE. Many simply expected him to go on hiatus and train for a match against Cormier, following the surprising loss to Rollins at WrestleMania 35. But with SummerSlam less than four months away now, it may not be too long until Lesnar returns.
What This Means
This is obviously big news for the WWE, as Vince will no longer have to compete with UFC for Lesnar's services. But more importantly, it's the end of a phenomenal UFC career for Lesnar, who helped grow the product in the 21st century. But the former Universal Champion remains one of the biggest names in the wrestling industry, and he'll continue to be treated like one when he returns to the WWE.