BROCK Lesnar, whose return to the UFC last year resulted in a suspension and a lawsuit, has told the company that he is retiring from MMA, according to multiple reports Tuesday. The 39-year-old WWE star had previously walked away from the sport in 2011.
Lesnar was handed a year-long ban in January by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which handles drug tests for the UFC, following a similar action in December, plus a $25,000 fine, by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Both actions stemmed from failed tests by Lesnar while in training for, and then on the day of, UFC 200 in July. In both cases, the former UFC heavyweight champion tested positive for the banned substance clomiphene.
The USADA suspension was made retroactive to July, meaning that Lesnar could have returned to the Octagon during that month this year, except that his name has been removed from the agency's testing pool. The amount of time left on Lesnar's ban would resume once he submitted to testing again, but it appears that he instead prefers to depart from MMA altogether.
News of the failed tests did not emerge until after Lesnar had defeated Mark Hunt at UFC 200, and the latter responded by filing a lawsuit against Lesnar, the UFC and the company's president, Dana White. Hunt was outraged that Lesnar, who signed with the UFC a month before the event, was given an exemption from its normal policy of making athletes returning from retirement get tested for four months. "Cheaters deserve nothing!" Hunt said on his website.
Lesnar first retired from MMA after losing to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 in 2011, citing an ongoing battle with diverticulitis. He began his MMA career in 2006 and won the UFC heavyweight title in 2008 by defeating Randy Couture.
A four-time WWE heavyweight champion, Lesnar's fame as a pro wrestler was already well established when he started competing in MMA, and he helped grow the sport's fan base. A South Dakota native, he won an 2000 NCAA Division I heavyweight wrestling championship for Minnesota.