Brock Lesnar will make a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) when he meets an opponent who is yet to be confirmed at UFC 200 on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The news comes despite an announcement by Lesnar in March of 2015 that he was “closing the door on MMA.”
The WWE said Saturday night that Lesnar was “granted a one-off opportunity” to return to the UFC for the July fight and that he’d return for WWE’s SummerSlam on August 21.
Lesnar debuted for the UFC against former champion Frank Mir and lost via submission.
Lesnar went on to win his next four bouts, including a November 2008 UFC title fight against Randy Couture. Lesnar avenged the Mir loss at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009, in Las Vegas. After that bout, Lesnar was sidelined for a year due to diverticulitis.
He went on to compete two more times, suffering knockout losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, the latter in December 2011. Lesnar trained for a comeback last year and was in negotiations with the UFC on a new deal , but opted to re-sign with the WWE instead.
The announcement never came without incident though.
The news was officially confirmed in a promotional vignette that aired during the UFC 199 telecast. However, prior to that happening MMAFighting journalist Ariel Helwani reported that a deal had been struck and Lesnar would be returning.
The journalist was consequently removed from the Forum arena in Inglewood and stripped of his UFC media accreditation. He was not able to watch Michael Bisping beat Luke Rockhold.
It seems he broke the story without the permission of the company.