Brock Retires from The Octagon™
After a relatively brief run of notable matches that included a heavyweight championship victory, Brock Lesnar announced from the Octagon™ that UFC 141 was his final appearance fighting in the UFC. The former collegiate wrestling champion and WWF/WWE wrestler began fighting in the UFC to much skepticism from fans.
You loved him or you hated him
Brock was a polarizing figure. Either you loved his power, size and enthusiasm or you thought he was bad for the sport, a sideshow that the UFC could do without if it were to be accepted as mainstream. You marveled at his power and ability to dominate fighters or you ridiculed his “glass jaw” and relatively average stand-up ability.
Regardless of how you feel about him personally, he has earned some level of respect for having the UFC throw him in with the top-tier fighters right away, rather than facing mid-level fighters while he improved his technique. Even though he was put in with much more experienced mixed martial artists, he competed, often he excelled.
He put butts in seats
Every time Lesnar fought, the event sold out. Pay-per-View buys jumped in volume. He brought new fans in. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that MMA in general is more popular because of his involvement in it. No one was a bigger draw than Brock.
We almost had one more dance
In announcing his retirement, Lesnar also said that had he defeated Overeem, he would have fought one more time, for the championship against Junior Dos Santos. Having lost (and likely broke his ribs in the process), we will never get to see that match-up. He is done.
As long as Brock’s been in the UFC, there’s been rumors (wishful thinking?) that he would return to the WWE. Every time something that could be possibly interpreted as tied into his WWE past would happen, rumors would fly.
We know two things: Family is more important to him than just about anything, so while wrestling on a frequent basis on the road is probably out of the question, certainly a wrestling appearance a couple of times a year would be something he could do and something the WWE would want. Second, as Dana White noted post-fight, Brock retired while still under contract with the UFC, meaning any other promotion, like the WWE, would have to negotiate with the UFC for Lesnar’s services.
All of which assumes that Lesnar would want to be in the public eye more. He may very well just decide that he’s had enough and retire to his ranch.
So the Brock Lesnar era has come to a close. Like him or not, MMA is better for his time in it.