Brock Lesnar has been the subject of some controversy as of late.

The phrase “subject of some controversy” is not such an unfamiliar phrase used in relation to the former UFC and WWE heavyweight champion, considering he’s always caused some kind of stir or made some kind of noise by doing some of the things he has done in his career.

However, when he was under UFC contract, thoughts of Lesnar appearing on WWE’s Monday Night Raw the night after Wrestlemania and attacking former WWE champion John Cena were all just empty dreams that most wrestling fans knew would not come true.

Fast forward to now, and Lesnar is retired from MMA, back with the WWE, writing people off WWE television with some rather convincing kimuras, and…showing up at UFC 146 before talking to Dana White?

Well, if you didn’t see UFC 146, but nonetheless can believe it happened, you’ll do well to know it did happen. Lesnar appeared with the masses in Las Vegas for last weekend’s all-heavyweight showcase, and he did talk to White, but nothing came of it. This has posed some questions about Lesnar’s future, whether it lies in the WWE or the UFC, and whether it should lie in the WWE’s world of entertainment or the UFC’s world of sports competition.

The UFC/MMA nerd in me will actually have to side with the WWE mark in me on this issue by saying that Lesnar’s future is in the WWE; his talks with White are likely to be incorporated into a future WWE storyline, and Lesnar’s future in the WWE should remain as such. It may sound like sourness or some other negative connotation, but when you look at the big picture, it makes more sense. Sure, everyone who was and still is in support of Lesnar will have a soft spot for him and will want to see him back inside the Octagon, but for a multitude of reasons, it’s just not in the cards to go down like that.

The main basis is Lesnar’s health, which should be obvious, but will likely face contention from one stubborn critic or another. The simple fact of the matter is that diverticulitis is something that is neither easy to combat—as we’ve seen with Lesnar in his two most recent bouts with diverticulitis—nor is it something that is easy to deal with. The condition can shorten one’s longevity in a profession before anyone realizes that it’s happened, and it definitely proved the ultimate cause for Lesnar to opt to retire—though one can imagine fatherhood and family time played roles as well.

The WWE’s longevity in the world also allows the promotion to maintain its claim of being a multi-million-dollar company with a multi-million-dollar budget that can afford to operate successfully while also affording a fat paycheck or two to Lesnar on a monthly basis. In other words, Lesnar could have quietly retired a la Heath Herring before resigning with the WWE—diverticulitis or not—and yet the money would still be more attractive in the WWE contract than the UFC contract, even though Lesnar was the biggest draw in the promotion apart from UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre. Not to say that MMA fighters don’t get paid—everyone knows they do—but the WWE has been around since the times in which there were only individual martial arts and no real “mix” of martial arts.

The debate over whether MMA deserves to pay more for legitimate combat than the WWE does for theatrical combat is a story for another night, but the fact is that Lesnar would stand to make more money in the WWE than he made in the UFC, any way you slice it.

Another arguable issue—though definitely a minute one at this point—is what Lesnar brought in a 5-3 MMA career. He was a heavy-handed hulk with a storied collegiate wrestling background who wanted to try his hand in mixed martial arts, and let’s not deny that he was a gamer at that. As much as he brought to the table and as marketable as he was, however, the man was still a UFC hype machine with great wrestling, good control from the dominant position, somewhat-existent submission skills, and subpar stand-up. Nonetheless, Lesnar’s skills won him a UFC heavyweight title and helped him overcome Frank Mir and Shane Carwin at a time when Lesnar exhibited visible improvements in areas of his game that fans and experts once criticized feverishly. However, regardless of his performance in the Octagon, the fact is that the man was forced into retirement.

If Lesnar had it his way, maybe he would have fought Junior dos Santos at UFC 146, or maybe Lesnar might be the man scheduled to face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 147. We don’t know what might have been had diverticulitis not gone a full ten rounds in two bouts with Lesnar, but we do know that he’s a WWE man again. We may like it or we may hate it, but talks of Lesnar returning to the UFC will only exist in a likely WWE storyline, if they do linger. The fact is that Lesnar’s future is in the WWE because it has to be, at this point. It’s not that he can’t compete in MMA, but there’s always a risk of diverticulitis scoring a win over Lesnar if Lesnar tries to progress in MMA.

In all honesty, though, it’s no real bummer if Lesnar does have to end his run in the sports world with the WWE and with only a 5-3 pro MMA career record. With the number of WWE influences on the sports world being vast enough to provide enough content for its “niche” of a sports-television network, it’s not unlikely that anyone in the MMA world or the world of sports will find any reason to complain when someone does something that might be a bit “WWE” for one’s liking anyway.

Besides, Lesnar may not have been the best in the world of MMA, but in everything he does, he provides his own style of enjoyable entertainment and he provides much of the world with something to talk about.

At the end of the day, whether it’s MMA or professional wrestling or any other sport in the world, isn’t one of the reasons for our spectating just that—so that all of us can have something to talk about, whether we liked it or not?

Photo:  Brock Lesnar (black gloves) lands an elbow on former WWE champion John Cena (World Wrestling Entertainment)

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.