World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Brock Lesnar will be returning to the Octagon at UFC 200 on July 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lesnar come out of retirement from mixed martial arts, triggering WWE rumors the former heavyweight champion will leave professional wrestling for good.
But from the looks of it, Lesnar’s comeback fight got approval from WWE. The company released an official statement, confirming Lesnar’s UFC fight next month. WWE clarified, though, the 38-year-old will return to professional wrestling and will actually be featured at SummerSlam in August.
“Brock Lesnar remains under contract to WWE, however, he has been granted a one-off opportunity to compete at UFC 200,” WWE said in a statement. “Following this milestone event on July 9, Brock will return to WWE for SummerSlam.”
The announcement caught fans off guard, as Lesnar previously reiterated he will not fight inside the Octagon again. The professional wrestler told ESPN in March he decided to close the door on MMA after signing a new deal with WWE. During that time, the South Dakota native admitted it took him a year to decide on his MMA retirement.
“It was a hard decision to make,” Lesnar, who has not fought since losing to Alistair Overeem in December 2011, said in March. “It took me a year. I’ve thought about this for a year. At the end of the day, it’s all about me wanting to have fun.”
Lesnar began his UFC career in February 2008, losing to Frank Mir via submission. He bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Heath Herring six months later, which was followed by a knockout victory against Randy Couture in November 2008 to capture the UFC heavyweight title.
Lesnar successfully defended the title twice — against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin — before he took a devastating first-round knockout loss to Cain Velazquez at UFC 121 in October 2010. The former NCAA Division I wrestling champion tried to bounce back a year later, but was knocked by Overeem at UFC 141.