Following his suspension handed down by the USADA, WWE superstar Brock Lesnar was supposed to return to the octagon and face Daniel Cormier for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
But in a surprise twist, Lesnar reportedly told UFC president Dana White in May that he was retiring from the sport altogether. In an interview with Marc Raimondi of ESPN, Cormier suggested that Lesnar decided to remain with WWE since with all the "guaranteed money," since "there's a lot of uncertainty" with the UFC's financial offerings.
However, White explained why Lesnar decided to stick with the WWE in an interview with ESPN's Brett Okamoto (h/t WrestlingInc.com). The UFC president denied that Lesnar turned down the chance to come back because of ESPN taking over pay-per-view broadcasts, which led to changes in pay structure for the fighters.
"(ESPN is) not why Brock Lesnar didn't fight," White said. "Brock Lesnar got a better deal is basically what happened for Brock."
Lesnar receives a nice payday to only do a handful of matches a year in WWE. Forbes reported in 2018 that Lesnar earned $6.5 million from WWE in 2018. He was the second highest-paid superstar, trailing only John Cena - who made $10 million.
It's obviously a great deal for Lesnar, who works a part-time schedule and wins the vast majority of his matches. He's a two-time Universal Champion - including one reign that lasted a record of 503 days. And of course, he was this years' Money in the Bank ladder match winner - allowing Lesnar to earn a championship match any time he wants throughout an entire year.
Whether Lesnar competes again in UFC remains to be seen, but as long as he's racking up large chunks of cash from WWE, he has good reason to stick with Vince McMahon's company. The WWE chairman hasn't given a single indication that he'll stop pushing Lesnar nor cut back on his hefty salary.
What This Means
Many WWE fans are growing frustrated over how much the company has pushed Lesnar in recent years, given his status as a part-timer. But like it or not, he remains a huge main event draw, and he makes a ton of money for WWE - so it's highly unlikely that he'll return to the UFC any time soon - and perhaps never again.