Dana White's comments about Brock Lesnar's contract have raised a lot of questions, she here is a breakdown of everything we know. When Brock Lesnar was headed to No Mercy to take on Braun Strowman, there were many in the WWE Universe who believed Strowman would come out the victor. Part of the reason was the uncertainty of Lesnar's contract in the WWE and rumors he was interested in returning to the UFC, potentially in a big-money match against Jon Jones. If he could take off at any time, why would WWE keep the title on him?
Lesnar has always been the type of talent to go where the money is. Using the leverage of the UFC against the WWE, he's had that MMA ticket in his back pocket to get the most out of any payday. This time around, it might not be so simple for Lesnar as details about his contract have come to light that gives the WWE a little more power at the negotiating table.
One of the things Lesnar might have used as a selling point to the UFC was a potential fight against Jon Jones. It would have been a huge draw in the MMA world and made both fighters and the UFC a boatload of money. But, Jones got busted and tested positive for banned substances, likely ending his UFC career.
UFC President, Dana White, also revealed that even if he wanted Lesnar, he would have to wait until August of 2018 to sign him. That's because the WWE worked in a renewal clause that gives them time after Lesnar chooses to depart, potentially having the sizzle fade a bit from his arrival back to MMA.
Here's how Lesnar's contract breaks down. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Lesnar's current deal runs until WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans and/or the post-WrestleMania Raw the next night. After that, the WWE has a window to negotiate a new deal where the UFC or any other MMA promotion cannot offer a contract to Lesnar until August of 2018. That's a good four months for the WWE to figure out their next play.
Most believe, including Dana White, that Lesnar will indeed renew his contract with the WWE, making this clause a moot point, but it's there for the WWE to use if needed.
If Lesnar chooses not to re-sign, Dana White has to wait before agreeing to any new deal. Also worked into Lesnar's current deal is the ability for the WWE to nix any plans for Lesnar to fight while employed by the WWE. Even one-off bouts like the one that took place against Mark Hunt when Lesnar was still under contract with WWE are at the sole discretion of Vince McMahon.
Because Lesnar tested positive for banned substances, WWE came off looking less than ideal and have no desire to repeat that kind of a marketing and public relations fiasco. They can simply refuse to let Lesnar compete in any non-WWE events.
One good thing for the WWE that allows them to get what they want without having to flex any of this contractual muscle, is that if a fight with Jon Jones is going to happen, it will likely have to happen in WWE. UFC can't take either guy until their suspensions are lifted.