When Brock Lesnar chose to return to WWE and officially retired from MMA rather than return for a UFC fight with Daniel Cormier, there were a ton of rumors why he made this decision.
Everything from worries about future drug tests to the uncertainty of Lesnar’s ability to compete with Cormier was floated by fans.
However, one of the only people who know the real truth spoke about it in a recent interview with ESPN MMA. Dana White said that Lesnar chose to go back to WWE because of money.
There were rumors that Brock Lesnar chose not to come back to UFC due to the new format that the company will take with their fights under the new ESPN agreement.
ESPN combat sports reporter Marc Raimondi asked Daniel Cormier about Lesnar passing on the fight and reported that there is uncertainty in UFC toward PPV and the income possible going down for fighters.
They also mentioned that WWE pushes to keep Lesnar as a top star and he makes guaranteed money for little work there.
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) May 30, 2019
When asked about this, Dana White said that it had nothing to do with ESPN and the possible changes in revenue. Instead, White simply said that Vince McMahon emptied the bank to pay Lesnar a monster sum to stay in WWE.
‘[ESPN is] not why Brock Lesnar didn’t fight,” White said of Lesnar’s decision to stay out of UFC. “Brock Lesnar got a better deal is basically what happened for Brock.”
Dana White also dismissed critics who claim the PPV business no longer draws numbers and said that UFC regularly draws huge numbers.
“We were still pulling five to seven million pay-per-view buys a year when we were on the dying, traditional pay-per-view,” White said. “You can’t listen to any of this noise.”
Regardless, WWE paid Brock Lesnar an insane amount of money to stay with them and finally retire from MMA fighting and the UFC and both sides are now moving on.
Brock Lesnar last appeared for WWE at Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia where he took a severe beating from Seth Rollins when he tried to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.