Wrestling: Brock Lesnar signs new WWE deal
Professional wrestler and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, has agreed a new deal with the world’s largest professional wrestling promotion, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) following the expiration of his previous contract.
The promotion announced the signing without revealing details of the length on its website after his WrestleMania 34 win over rival, Roman Reigns. Lesnar, the current universal champion of the promotion, who is in his second stint at the company is reportedly close to agreeing a deal to return to the UFC after UFC President, Dana White said: ‘’Yeah, Brock Lesnar is definitely coming back,’’ on UFC Tonight.
The hold-up to the deal is his current situation as a current champion WWE which is likely to change later this month. However, other sources claim that both WWE and UFC have agreed a crossover deal which will see him compete in both companies simultaneously.
UFC are opposed to crossover deal as they feel associating their brand too closely to a sports entertainment brand will water-down the severity of their sports. Notwithstanding, there have been exceptions to this rule for former bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar himself.
Lesnar was a late addition to the UFC 200 in July 2016 where he defeated Australian knockout artist, Mark Hunt by unanimous decision. The victory was soon overturned to a no-contest when he tested positive for a banned substance, clomiphene. Lesnar was subsequently banned for 12 months by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), responsible for the UFC drug testing programme, but exited the testing pool later that year to focus on his WWE career.
To compete in the UFC this year, Lesnar would have to re-enter the testing pool to unfreeze the 6 months left on his suspension.
Despite the uncertainty of the deal, Lesnar is expected to pass the torch down to the younger Reigns by losing his title to him at the upcoming WWE Pay Per View (PPV), Greatest Royal Rumble. The initial plan was for the change of guard to take place at WrestleMania 34, but the New Orleans who are renowned for being a tough crowd prevented it. The promotion was unwilling to risk the audience dampening what should be an emotional moment for one of their greatest sons.
The organisation have tried severally without success to make Reigns their latest superstar and are certain that defeating Lesnar in a compelling show would resonate with their audience.