Despite winning the UFC heavyweight title in just his third bout in the UFC Brock Lesnar was never at his physical peak throughout his UFC tenure, according to Lesnar’s friend and on-screen WWE manager Paul Heyman.
Following Lesnar’s title defense against Frank Mir at UFC 100 in 2009, the gargantuan wrestler was diagnosed with diverticulitis, an intestinal disease which required two surgeries and long periods of rehabilitation. The illness was speculated to have been festering in Lesnar for quite some time, perhaps even going back to his collegiate wrestling days, and Heyman suggested that if Lesnar had managed to stay clear of the disease his UFC career would have looked a lot different.
“I would suggest that Brock is really now in his physical prime because he was robbed of reaching his full potential as an athlete in his 20’s and early 30’s by diverticulitis”, Heyman said on the Fight Society Podcast.
“His body, which was so fine tuned and he had done so much to train his body to accomplish the goals he had envisioned for himself, his body was suppressing and using up so much energy and so much of his strength and his ability to suppress the diverticulitis, and finally diverticulitis couldn’t be suppressed. He probably had it throughout his entire college career.
“So you never saw him at his full potential in college. You never saw him at his full potential in his first run in WWE. He went into the Minnesota Vikings camp not only with the diverticulitis inside of his system but a broken jaw and a fractured pelvis, which he covered in the book that we wrote together and then you never saw him, not once did you see him in UFC at his absolute physical peak.”
Lesnar, who is now 39 years old, last competed in mixed martial arts in July of last year when he won a decision over Mark Hunt at UFC 200. That win was changed to a no-contest, following Lesnar testing positive for performance enhancing substances in the wake of the fight. Lesnar has since notified the UFC of his official retirement from mixed martial arts.
As for what’s next for Lesnar, Heyman suggests that he might want to test himself in a similar way to how Conor McGregor is doing. While it’s unlikely that Lesnar will ever set foot in a boxing ring, for example, Heyman says that Lesnar and McGregor are similar in the way that they seek out challenges for themselves.
“I think what’s next for Brock Lesnar besides what’s happening in WWE, could it be UFC? Could it be another sport? I think it’s something that he’s going to look at and say ‘I bet no one thinks I can do that,” Heyman said. “All right, I’m going to conquer that.’”
“Besides obviously the greatest payday of his life, it’s the same thing that’s motivating [Conor] McGregor into wanting to fight [Floyd] Mayweather because … I’d have to say a great deal (is obviously) the lure of the enormous payday but a lot of it (is also) the lure of ‘you know what people don’t think I can (beat Mayweather) … and I can!”