Despite rumors of a return to the UFC octagon, Brock Lesnar will stay in the WWE, at least for now.
In a statement released on Monday, WWE announced that Lesnar had re-signed with the company and will appear in a match on April 27 at the “Greatest Royal Rumble” event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, defending the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns inside a steel cage.
The terms of Lesnar’s new contract were not disclosed, and it is not known how the agreement will affect his future with UFC. Lesnar has crossed and fought in the UFC while under contract with WWE before, including in his last MMA fight, when he faced Mark Hunt at UFC 200 in July 2016.
Lesnar defeated Hunt by decision, but that result was changed to no competition when Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene. If he returned to MMA, Lesnar would still have to re-enter the USADA testing group and serve the final six months of his suspension.
As recently as Friday, at the UFC’s 25th anniversary press conference, UFC President Dana White spoke about Lesnar’s status with the company.
“He’s still under contract with the UFC, but we have not hired him for a fight,” White said. “He’s still under contract with us, he still has fights over his agreement, he has to go back to the USADA group.”
White also said it was possible that Lesnar could face the winner of the UFC heavyweight title fight on July 7 between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier at UFC 226.
Speculation about Lesnar’s return to the UFC gained strength in late February when White, appearing on Kevin Harvick’s SirikeXM NASCAR radio show, said there was a “very, very, very good” chance that Lesnar would return to the UFC. Last Wednesday, White appeared on Fox Sports’ “UFC Tonight” and reiterated his confidence in a return of Lesnar to the UFC.
“Yes, Brock Lesnar will come back,” White said in the program. “I do not know when, but it is.”
Lesnar’s story with WWE goes back almost two decades. After his college fight career at the University of Minnesota, Lesnar signed his first WWE contract in 2000 and stayed with the company until March 2004. After a failed attempt to enter the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, Lesnar eventually headed to the UFC and made his debut in February 2008. In his fourth pro fight, Lesnar defeated UFC Hall of Fame member Randy Couture to become UFC heavyweight champion. His MMA record is 5-3 with a no contest.
He returned to WWE in April 2012 and has been under contract with the company ever since.
Lesnar appeared at the WWE WrestleMania 34 show in New Orleans on Sunday night and performed in the closing game of the series against Reigns.