When Brock Lesnar entered the Octagon for pro wrestling style shoving match with Daniel Cormier to close UFC 226, a superfight the two looked like a foregone conclusion.
In the months since though, despite Lesnar re-entering the USADA testing pool so he can complete his suspension from positive tests in 2016, signs keep appearing that make it doubtful the fight will ever happen. Cormier and his camp continue to insist the 39 year old reigning UFC heavyweight only has one fight left in him. With Jon Jones back from suspension, a chance to avenge his past losses to “Bones” might be preferable – even without Brock’s apparently re-upping with WWE for a run that will last at least until WrestleMania 35 muddying the waters.
TMZ Sports caught up with UFC President Dana White to talk about the future of his heavyweight division. White says he’s trying to coax a few more fights out of DC, but he doesn’t know if Brock will be one of them. In fact, the way he dances around the Lesnar question and indicates that his personal preference would be for Jones – a fight we’ve all seen before – makes me question whether Dana thinks he’s getting the current WWE Universal champ back at all.
TMZ: Daniel Cormier’s only got another couple fights left, right? Who do you think – is this gonna be his last fight, if he’s gonna fight Brock, if that’s gonna happen?
White: I don’t know. We don’t know that either yet. Um, I think, yeah, Cormier’s got a couple left in him.
TMZ: And who do you think would be, you know, would there be a rematch of any kind in the making, do you think, for one of his last fights?
White: I hope so, I mean, that is what I would like – obviously like to see Jones and Cormier fight again at heavyweight, but you know, right now, Cormier’s team wants him to retire now. They want him to retire right now. I hope we can get three more fights out of him.
Now, maybe I’m reading too much into that, and we’ll end up getting Jones/Cormier III and Cormier/Lesnar AND Jones/Lesnar.
But maybe the checks Vince McMahon is capable of writing these days are fat enough that Brock is questioning whether he needs to get punched for real ever again? Or maybe one of the craftiest business men in combat sports entertainment is holding Dana hostage for even fatter checks?
We’ll see. Either way, the landscape looks a lot different than it did in the summer, when it looked like Lesnar was leaving WWE after SummerSlam for a return to the Octagon.