Brock Lesnar showed up at the WWE’s Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia and dominated. Lesnar made quick work of Braun Strowman, winning the WWE Universal Championship. That could cause some interesting developments for his UFC return.
Lesnar’s performance-enhancing drug suspension will officially be over on January 8, 2019. Most expect him to headline UFC 233 on January 26. If that’s the case, he’s going to need time away from WWE to train and focus on fighting. That process will have to begin soon, so many expected him to lose at Crown Jewel so he could leave and prepare for his return to the octagon.
Now that he’s won the Universal title, he’ll almost certainly have WWE commitments to fulfill. Would he risk injury in a WWE ring at some point over the next few months that could possibly push back his UFC return?
The next few weeks will likely tell us what the future holds.
Obviously Lesnar facing Daniel Cormier for the UFC heavyweight title would be the biggest draw for Dana White and company. If Cormier emerges victorious from his UFC 230 matchup with Derrick Lewis this weekend, there will be a lot of momentum for a mega-clash with Lesnar.
That said, Cormier has said a fight with Jon Jones would be bigger for his legacy than a matchup with Lesnar. Cormier has lost to Jones twice. One loss came by decision in 2015 and the other was ruled a no-contest after Jones tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Jones is the only fighter to defeat Cormier and he clearly wants to avenge those defeats.
If Cormier fights Jones, Lesnar doesn’t have a ton of big-name options. He could fight former champion Stipe Miocic or attempt to avenge losses he suffered against Alistair Overeem or Cain Velasquez (if he ever gets healthy). Those are really the only matchups that might move the needle.
A pay-per-view headlined by Lesnar will almost certainly sell, regardless of who he fights. But White didn’t bring “The Beast” back to mess around. He brought him back to make big fights. Cormier is really the only massive fight out there, unless Jon Jones wants a piece.