Brock Lesnar is a polarizing figure. He entered the WWE as an unlikeable character but quickly won over his share of fans. With his military brush-cut, icy cold stare, and hulking physique, Lesnar is an intimidating individual. Love him or hate him, Brock Lesnar has an abundance of talent, skill, and brute strength which has made him an enduring entity over his career in the wrestling ring and octagon.
From his humble beginnings, Brock has battled hard to be the best in all of his pursuits. He has suffered many setbacks such as his well-documented battle with diverticulitis, a painful condition that led to invasive surgery. But Brock isn’t any ordinary human and he has proven that time and time again. He will show it once more at UFC 200 when, just days shy of turning 39, he will make his return to the UFC in a highly anticipated bout with Mark Hunt.
Brock is well-known for keeping his private life to himself. We know the basics of his domestic life including his broken engagement with Nicole McClain, his marriage to Rena “Sable” Greek and we know he has four children. There are many things that you might not know about this complex and unique man. Here are 15 hard-hitting facts about Brock Lesnar.
15 His Nickname
It’s hard to imagine a guy like Brock Lesnar being teased or made fun of. If you are one to think of consequences, then you have already considered that poking fun at Brock Lesnar would probably result in serious bodily harm. The lightest reprisal one could hope for would be an atomic wedgie. Unless you are The Undertaker or The Big Show, it would be a very unwise move to sass the bulky brute. His older brothers got away with picking on the young Brock for a while, but that’s what big brothers do. As a baby, some relatives referred to Brock as “pork chop” and “Brock Head.” During his childhood, he was given the nickname “Broccoli” by his friend Justin Gaikowski. It was a good bit of harmless fun between friends but one would be hard-pressed to get away with doing that now.
14 Brock’s High School and College Wrestling Record
By the time Brock was in high school, he was a huge kid who was a force to be reckoned with in the wrestling ring. Judging by some of the pictures of his high school wrestling days, it seems almost unfair that those kids had to go up against him. Brock’s size advantage alone made it a losing proposition. His skills made it a nearly impossible task. It’s very much possible that a few competitors soiled their shorts.
He was a standout at Webster High School where he steamrolled opponents to a 33-0-0 record in his senior year. While attending Bismarck State College in North Dakota, he continued to show superiority over his competition. He was a two-time NJCAA All-American, two-time NCAA All-American, and two-time Big Ten Conference Champion. He amassed an incredible record of 106-5 over his four years of college wrestling. Those few wrestlers that defeated Lesnar can look back with a great deal of pride.
13 The National Guard
Like a lot of guys, Brock Lesnar is afflicted with a degree of color blindness. In particular, he suffers from the common red-green deficiency. At the age of 17, Brock enlisted with the National Guard after a recruiting officer visited his class. He envisioned himself working with artillery and explosives but, unfortunately for Brock, this pursuit requires that one can tell the difference between red and green. Brock had to give up on his desire to blow things up and he was reassigned to a desk job. It is possible that Brock may have stuck it out behind a desk but he hit yet another roadblock. He failed his computer typing test which left him little choice but to leave the National Guard. For a guy who was not used to losing it must have been a blow to his ego. It’s likely that Brock was pretty good with the F-5 key.
12 Started Wrestling at the Age of Five
Brock was a handful as a youngster and, like his brothers; he was prone to causing a bit of trouble. In order to give the five-year-old a bit of structure and an outlet to channel his aggressions, Brock’s parents enrolled him a wrestling program. Brock enjoyed his newly found hobby, but his mother appears to have taken Brock’s wrestling a little more seriously than the young Brock. She did her best to instill a winning mentality into her impressionable son and would not accept any excuses for his occasional losses. After one such loss, Lesnar’s mother told him that “If you don’t like the way you feel when you lose, then get in there and win.” It is obvious that these words had an everlasting effect on Brock. He pushed himself both mentally and physically to succeed which is a trait that he carried over into his adult life.
11 Did His Share of Grunt Work
Brock grew up on a family run dairy farm, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Brock has done his share of hard labor and less than glamorous jobs. He would wake up before the crack of dawn and head out to milk the cows. In fact, he would milk 120 cows every morning. When he got a little older, he also took on the responsibility of helping to deliver calves. Anyone who has experienced this messy job can attest that it is far from pleasant.
When he was in high school, he took on a job at his wrestling coach’s pig farm. Among other duties, he actually had the unenviable task of shoveling pig manure. It’s fair to say that Brock Lesnar isn’t afraid of hard work and he has reaped the benefits in many ways. Lesnar has his shortcomings but his work ethic is worthy of praise.
10 He Almost Played in the NFL
Despite his successes with the WWE, Brock had a burning desire to play professional football. In 2004, Brock decided to leave the comfort of the WWE and give the NFL a shot despite not playing football since high school. He was willing to sacrifice a lot of money to find out if he had what it took. He impressed at the combine and made the Minnesota Viking’s practice squad. The Vikings cut him at the end of the preseason but they offered him a job in NFL Europa. Wanting to stay in the US, Brock declined the offer and decided to get back into wrestling. Of course, this decision was not without ramifications as we will find out later.
9 Member of the NRA
As mentioned earlier, Brock has always had an infatuation with blowing things up, so it should come as no surprise that he loves playing with firearms. There are numerous photographs of Brock posing with various firearms that would put Rambo to shame.
He prefers to keep most of his personal beliefs to himself but he does not hide the fact that he is a proud and active member of the NRA and an advocate for Fusion Ammunition. He has participated in several NRA events and he has been vocal about his support of the 2nd Amendment.
Joining over 71,000 people, he attended the 2011 NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh where he took part in a three-hour autograph signing session and showed his support for his fellow NRA members in attendance. Perhaps the only thing scarier than the thought of an angry Brock Lesnar is an angry Brock Lesnar with a rifle.
8 He is an Avid Hunter
Almost hand-in-hand with being a member of the NRA is Brock’s love of hunting. In particular, Brock is a dedicated whitetail deer hunter and he hunts whenever he gets the chance. His passion for trophy hunting landed him in a bit of hot water in 2011 while on a guided hunting trip in Alberta, Canada. He pleaded guilty to improperly tagging an animal and was fined $1,725 along with being handed a six-month hunting suspension. He was accused by fish and wildlife officials of killing a mule and only packing out its trophy head. Charges of leaving meat to rot and illegal possession of wildlife were dropped.
His guide, Chad Stryker, was also charged with the same offenses but faced more serious consequences. There is no word on the outcome of Stryker’s charges.
It happens all too often. Athletes who are put under constant mental and physical stress find themselves turning to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Brock Lesnar is no exception. As we can only imagine, the life of a wrestler/fighter is usually marked by injuries and pain. In his first stint with the WWE, Lesnar began abusing Vicodin and alcohol. He was reportedly consuming hundreds of Vicodin per month and drinking a bottle of vodka per day in an effort to control pain. He attributes the start of the spiral to an injury sustained at WrestleMania XIX when he attempted a shooting star press to finish off Kurt Angle. The match left Lesnar with a concussion and a neck injury. He claims to not remember an entire two-year period of his WWE career.
Brock’s entire career has been dogged by allegations of steroid use and those allegations continue as he heads into his much anticipated MMA return at the upcoming UFC 200. It is pretty easy to see how people would think this. Aside from the fact that he is a massive and muscle-bound powder keg, he was also arrested in Louisville in 2001 on suspicion of possessing large amounts of anabolic steroids. Even though the charges were dropped when it was found that they were legal growth hormones, his arrest fueled the speculation. History shows many examples of mere suspicion leading to a perceived guilt in the public’s eyes.
His opponent for UFC 200, Mark Hunt, has publicly accused Brock of being “juiced to the gills." Lesnar was exempt from drug testing for a period leading up to UFC 200 but that expired on June 1st, 2016. He has since submitted to several drug tests as he prepares for the big match.
5 Video Games
Video games are more popular than ever and it is now common to see your favorite athletes in them. WWE fans can be the Big Show, The Undertaker, or Brock Lesnar. UFC fans can be Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, or Brock Lesnar. Let’s not forget NFL fans that can pretend they’re Daunte Culpepper, LaDainian Tomlinson, or Brock Lesnar. That’s right. Brock Lesnar holds the distinction of being in WWE, UFC, and NFL video games. He is the first and only to appear in all three genres. He has delivered F-5s in WWE video games since 2002. He’s taken on all challengers in UFC video games since 2009 and he’s been sacking Brett Favre with shooting star presses since showing up in Madden NFL 2006. He appears in no less than 17 video games in all. This isn’t just a testament to his broad appeal, it is also a reminder of just how multi-talented the soon-to-be 38-year-old tough guy is.
4 Youngest WWE Champion (For a Time)
Brock didn’t immediately gain fame and glory when he joined the WWE in 2000. He started out with the developmental process and wrestled in non-broadcast matches. He made an immediate impact when he hit the big stage on March 18th, 2002. In June 2002, Brock shocked the wrestling world when he defeated Bubba Ray Dudley, Booker T, Test, and finally Rob Van Dam to win the WWE’s King of the Ring tournament. This gave him a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship title against reigning champion, The Rock.
With the title on the line, “The Next Big Thing” faced off against The Rock at SummerSlam 2002. The match went back and forth before Lesnar was able to deliver his patented F-5 which submitted The Rock to the three count. At just 25-years-old, Brock became the youngest WWE Undisputed Champion ever, a distinction that had also once belonged to The Rock. He'd later lose that distinction to Randy Orton.
3 A Distinguished Career: Another First
Many critics of Brock Lesnar and the WWE are quick to argue that the WWE is scripted and the outcomes are predetermined. They will try to persuade you that Brock Lesnar’s toughness can’t be gauged by his WWE successes because it’s all acting. Even if those accusations are true, it's foolish to believe that WWE wrestlers aren’t true athletes. They push themselves to the limit and spill a lot of blood along the way. Being a WWE Champion is absolutely an accomplishment to be proud of.
In Brock’s case, he further legitimized himself by achieving another first. He was an NCAA wrestling champion in 2000, a WWE champion in 2002, and a UFC champion in 2008. He is the only person to be all three. It takes incredible toughness to pull that off. People are kidding themselves if they don’t believe that Brock Lesnar is the real deal.
2 A Farm Boy at Heart
We know that Brock grew up on a family dairy farm and that he did all the dirty work that comes along with that lifestyle. We also know that his family was not particularly wealthy when Brock was growing up. He came from humble beginnings to become an impressively paid and incredibly successful athlete . One might expect that with his sizable wealth and fame that Brock would be living like a rock star, but he has stuck with his roots. He has his own farm in Saskatchewan, Canada where he leads a quiet existence with his wife, ex-WWE star Sable, and four kids. While it isn’t easy, Brock tries his best to live in the same quiet anonymity as he did when he was growing up in Webster, South Dakota. He’s a true farm boy at heart, but it’s likely a given that he doesn’t shovel pig manure anymore.
1 Brock Lesnar vs. WWE
When Brock decided to walk away from the WWE to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL in 2004, he signed a non-compete clause in which he essentially agreed to not work for any other professional wrestling organization until 2010. After his foray into the NFL didn’t work out as planned, Brock wanted to return to the wrestling ring. He decided to make his comeback in Japan. He made his NJPW debut in 2005 and won a three-way match to claim the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
Of course, this went against the non-compete clause he had agreed to and it resulted in a bitter court battle between him and the WWE. After some claims and counter-claims, the two sides were able to come to an out-of-court agreement. As we know, the WWE would later welcome the ex-champion back and he would go on to claim the WWE World Heavyweight Championship once again.