WrestleMania came and went, and Brock Lesnar is still Universal champion and still with WWE.
The company announced Monday the former UFC heavyweight champion re-signed and will next defend his title in a WrestleMania rematch with Roman Reigns inside a steel cage at the Greatest Royal Rumble event April 27 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The event will stream live on the WWE Network.
The deal could further cloud what appeared to be Lesnar’s imminent return to the UFC, which all signs pointed to leading into WrestleMania.
UFC President Dana White said on “UFC Tonight” that Lesnar was “definitely” coming back to fight with the company, he just didn’t know when. Lesnar’s on-screen advocate and real-life friend Paul Heyman told The Post that Lesnar’s match against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania was “most likely” his last with WWE for a while.
Lesnar has worked for both at the same time before. He was under contract with WWE when he fought Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in July 2016. He was reportedly given the permission for the one-off by WWE chairman Vince McMahon.
Lesnar will be allowed to fight in the UFC under his new WWE deal, according to the Sporting News, because he is still under contract with the MMA promotion. White said last week at the UFC’s 25th anniversary press conference that Lesnar still “has fights left on his deal.”
Lesnar will not be able to jump back into the octagon right away, however. After his fight with Hunt, he was hit with a one-year suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after testing positive for anti-estrogen drugs on two different occasions. Lesnar’s victory became a no-contest, and he retired from the sport.
If he decides to return to the UFC, Lesnar would need to unretire and re-enter the USADA’s testing pool to serve out the final six months or so of his suspension, according to reports.
If Lesnar does return to the octagon, he could get an immediate shot at the heavyweight championship, White said. It’s possible Lesnar could face the winner of the July fight between champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
“He’s still under contract with the UFC, but we have not signed him to a fight,” White said.
Lesnar, who has held the Universal title for more than a year, will step in a wrestling ring again. A return to the octagon appears still likely, but remains to be seen.