UFC President Dana White announced that former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is “done” competing in mixed martial arts (MMA). “The Beast” was on track to face Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight title this summer. The fight was seemingly set up last year when Lesnar shoved Cormier inside the Octagon.
For the past several months Dana White has been saying he’s waiting for Brock Lesnar to call him and let him know he’s ready. Over the past year, Lesnar has also been subject to testing from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). However, the UFC wasn’t able to pull the trigger on getting Lesnar back into the Octagon.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, this is due to the new pay-per-view (PPV) model the UFC is running. Lesnar and the UFC were negotiating for his return, however, Lesnar didn’t want to do a deal based on PPV points. Instead, the WWE star requested a flat fee. When he gave his number, the UFC believed it to be too high. As a result, no deal was able to get done.
ESPN+ now serves as the exclusive PPV provider of the UFC. In turn, the UFC’s PPV numbers have dropped considerably according to Meltzer. The UFC’s PPV numbers are now a little less than half of what they used to be. The UFC will be making the same money from PPVs either way under their new deal with ESPN, and are no longer pressured to pull in big numbers. Because of this, stars like Lesnar and Conor McGregor have lost a bit of negotiating leverage.
What do you think about Lesnar’s apparent retirement from MMA?