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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who is Brock Edward Lesnar?

Who is Brock Edward Lesnar?[1] The wrestling world knows him as Brock Lesnar, he is an American professional wrestler, actor, former mixed martial artist and amateur wrestler,[3] signed with WWE and appearing on its Raw brand.[4] He is also a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and former #1 ranked mixed martial arts (MMA) Heavyweight by Sherdog; he was ranked #5 before he announced his retirement at the end of 2011.[5] Lesnar is an accomplished amateur wrestler, winning the 2000 NCAA heavyweight wrestling championship and placing second in 1999, losing in the finals to 1999 world freestyle wrestling champion and future New England Patriots offensive lineman Stephen Neal.[6]
He gained prominence in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from 2002 to 2004, where he is a former three-time WWE Champion, becoming the youngest WWE Champion at age 25 with his first reign. Lesnar was the 2002 King of the Ring and the winner of the 2003 Royal Rumble.[7][8] After leaving WWE, Lesnar pursued a career in the NFL.[9] He played during the preseason for the Minnesota Vikings, but ended up being a late cut.[10] Lesnar returned to professional wrestling at the end of 2005, and joined New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match.[11] He was officially stripped of the title by NJPW in July 2006, and took the physical belt with him to Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), where he was still recognized as IWGP Champion until June 2007.[12]
Lesnar started a career in MMA and won his first fight in June 2007.[13] He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in October 2007. He lost his UFC debut against Frank Mir, but defeated Heath Herring in his sophomore fight. He subsequently captured the UFC Heavyweight Championship from Randy Couture on November 15, 2008, then avenged his loss to Mir at UFC 100 to become the Undisputed Champion. After being sidelined from fighting in late 2009 due to diverticulitis, Lesnar returned to defeat the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin at UFC 116. Lesnar lost the Heavyweight belt against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. He was once again stricken with a bout of diverticulitis in May 2011 and had surgery to try to cope with the ailment.[14] Lesnar returned at UFC 141 in December 2011, where he lost to Alistair Overeem and promptly retired from the UFC.[15] In April 2012, Lesnar returned to WWE.

Early life

Brock Lesnar was born July 12, 1977 in Webster, South Dakota. He attended Webster High School in Webster, where he had a wrestling record of 33–0–0 in his senior year.[16] Lesnar admits he graduated last of 54 students in his class.[17] Lesnar later attended the University of Minnesota on a full wrestling scholarship for his junior and senior years of college; his roommate was fellow professional wrestler Shelton Benjamin who served as Lesnar's assistant coach.[18] Lesnar won the 2000 NCAA wrestling championship as a heavyweight after placing second in 1999.
Prior to joining the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Lesnar wrestled at Bismarck State College in Bismarck, North Dakota.[2] Lesnar finished his amateur career as a two-time NJCAA All-American, 1998 NJCAA Heavyweight Champion, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Conference Champion, and the 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion with a record of 106–5 overall in four years of college.[19]

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2000–2004)

Training and debut (2000–2002)

In 2000, after leaving college, Lesnar signed up with the World Wrestling Federation. He was sent to its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. There, he formed a tag team known as "The Minnesota Stretching Crew" with his former college roommate, Shelton Benjamin. Lesnar and Benjamin won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on three occasions.[20] He wrestled several dark matches in 2001 and 2002 before being called up to the main roster.[11]
Lesnar debuted on WWF television on the March 18, 2002 episode of Raw, the night after WrestleMania X8, coming through the crowd and attacking Al Snow, Maven, and Spike Dudley during the course of a match. He was accompanied by Paul Heyman, who was seen giving instructions to Lesnar.[21] When the brand extension was introduced in the WWF, Lesnar was drafted to the Raw brand.[22] Later, Heyman was confirmed to be Lesnar's agent and gave Lesnar the nickname "The Next Big Thing".[23] Brock's first feud was with the Hardy Boyz. Lesnar and Jeff Hardy squared off at Backlash in Lesnar's first official televised match.[11] He won the match by knockout.[24] The next night on Raw Lesnar faced off against Matt Hardy, defeating him in the same fashion.[25] At Judgment Day, Lesnar once again gained the upper hand on the Hardy Boyz before tagging his partner, Heyman, in to make the pin.[26]

Main event status (2002–2003)



In June 2002, Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament, defeating Rob Van Dam in the final round.[7] This victory earned him a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship at SummerSlam.[26] On July 22, Lesnar joined the SmackDown! brand.[27] After a quick feud with Hollywood Hulk Hogan in August 2002, Lesnar began feuding with the Undisputed Champion The Rock.[28] Lesnar would go on to face the Rock in a triple threat match at Vengeance, in a triple threat match also involving Triple-H, but would fail to defeat the Rock. At the main event of SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated The Rock, albeit with the use of a steel chair and outside interference from Paul Heyman, to become the WWE Undisputed Champion.[26] With his victory at age 25, Lesnar became the youngest WWE Champion in history (a record that was previously held by The Rock and stands to date).[26] With the WWE Undisputed Championship being defended on both brands, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff expected Lesnar to be able to return to Raw the following night. However, SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon announced that Lesnar's contract only required him to defend the title on SmackDown!, forcing Bischoff to establish a new world championship for his brand. With the new World Heavyweight Championship on the Raw brand, the now disputed WWE Undisputed Championship simply became known as the WWE Championship.[29]
Lesnar's rapid rise to the top of WWE in 2002 led to a feud with The Undertaker, which involved a match at Unforgiven.[26] It ended in a double disqualification leading to Lesnar retaining the title. The next month, at No Mercy, he faced The Undertaker again, this time in a Hell in a Cell match. Leading up to the match, Lesnar broke the Undertaker's hand with a propane tank.[30] Despite Heyman begging McMahon not to let The Undertaker use his cast as a weapon, the request was denied and the match went on as planned.[31] In a match that saw both wrestlers and even Heyman covered in blood, it ended when Lesnar reversed an attempted Tombstone piledriver into his finishing F-5 maneuver for the win.[26] Six days after his Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker, Lesnar successfully retained his WWE title in a Handicap match with Heyman at the Rebellion pay-per-view against Edge.[32]
Lesnar's next opponent was The Big Show. Heyman was convinced more than anyone that Lesnar could not win, trying to talk him out of defending the title.[33] Lesnar refused and lost the championship in Madison Square Garden at the Survivor Series pay-per-view to Big Show, Lesnar's first pinfall loss in WWE. When the champion tried to pin the 500-pounder following an F-5, he was betrayed by Heyman who pulled the referee out of the ring allowing Big Show to capitalize by chokeslamming Lesnar on a steel chair. Show went on to pin Lesnar and win the title. As a result, Lesnar became a fan favorite.[34] Following Survivor Series, Heyman made it clear that Lesnar would not get a rematch, even going so far as to sneak a special clause in his contract.[35] In order to gain his revenge on Big Show and Heyman, Lesnar interfered in his first title defense, which came against Kurt Angle the next month at Armageddon. Lesnar hit the F-5 on the champion, which enabled Angle to pin him and win the title. On the next edition of SmackDown, however, Angle introduced Heyman as his manager and, despite promising Lesnar a match for his title earlier in the evening, declared that Lesnar still would not get a title shot. Lesnar was then beaten down by Big Show and Angle following the main event, but the former champion got his revenge after the show went off the air. While getting attacked again and berated by Heyman, Lesnar recovered and began to fight off both men. He eventually clotheslined Big Show out of the ring and then knocked him out with a steel chair when he returned, leaving Angle alone with Lesnar. Lesnar then chased the champion, who had escaped to the outside, and resumed his assault that culminated when Lesnar used the F-5 to propel Angle's right knee into the steel ringpost. As paramedics tended to a screaming Angle, Lesnar finished off the assault with a kneebreaker on the ringside barricade, (kayfabe) breaking the champion's leg.
With Angle temporarily put out of action, Lesnar's rivalry with Heyman and the Big Show resumed, which culminated in a match at the Royal Rumble in January 2003. A spot in the Royal Rumble match was on the line, and winning the match would be Lesnar's only hope for a potential title shot. Lesnar defeated Big Show to gain entry into the match and entered at #29, the second to last competitor to enter the match. He eliminated Matt Hardy and Team Angle, which was composed of the debuting (at the time) Charlie Haas and his former OVW teammate, Shelton Benjamin who were mentored by the WWE champion. Lesnar made it to the final two, with the only remaining entry being a returning Undertaker who entered the match last. Lesnar went on to win the match by eliminating Undertaker, which now guaranteed him a title match which he would receive at WrestleMania XIX.[34]


After the Royal Rumble, Lesnar's feud with Angle, Heyman, and their allies continued as Angle retained the title at the Rumble by defeating Chris Benoit. Lesnar and Benoit faced off against Angle, Haas, and Benjamin at No Way Out the following month and Lesnar's team won the match. This helped to forward the feud leading into the main event at WrestleMania.[34] During the match, Lesnar attempted and botched a shooting star press, a move typically done by cruiserweights but a move Lesnar knew how to perform, having done so in developmental matches. However, Lesnar overestimated the distance he could jump to execute the move. As a result, he did not get enough rotation on his leap and instead of landing with his body on top of Angle's, Lesnar jammed his head and neck by hitting Angle's side and ribcage. This stunned Lesnar and forced Angle to improvise the finish of the match. Lesnar suffered a severe concussion from the botched move, but still managed to pin Angle after an F-5 to win his second WWE Championship.[34] The rivalry ended after this, as Angle was forced to undergo neck surgery and missed several months.
After WrestleMania Lesnar turned his attention to John Cena, who had returned from injury in February 2003 and who had been F-5'd into a ringpost in the same manner Angle had been. Cena claimed Lesnar nearly ended his career and even named his new finishing move the "FU" as a jab at the new champion.[36] The feud ended relatively quickly in a match at Backlash when Lesnar defeated Cena. On the following SmackDown, Lesnar returned to his rivalry with Big Show after he injured Rey Mysterio badly during their match at Backlash. Show's attack resulted in Mysterio being carried out on a stretcher and back board and Big Show took Mysterio off the stretcher and swung the back board into the ringpost, compounding the injury.[34] Lesnar called out the Big Show, who demanded that Lesnar put his title on the line against him. This led to a Stretcher match at Judgment Day for the title. Lesnar successfully retained his title with help from Rey Mysterio and a forklift.[37] During the scripted rivalry, on SmackDown!, Lesnar lifted Big Show over in a Superplex, which caused the ring to collapse on impact.[38]
As Lesnar and Big Show continued their rivalry, Kurt Angle returned from his neck surgery and he and Lesnar began to form a more friendly rivalry, as the two were allies yet contenders for the title. At the first ever SmackDown brand-exclusive pay-per-view in July, Vengeance, Lesnar took on Angle and Big Show in a No Disqualification Triple Threat match for his title, which ended after Angle hit his Angle Slam on both Big Show and Lesnar, pinning the champion to become WWE Champion for a fourth time.[34]

Lesnar continued to chase Angle's title, however, despite their friendship. Vince McMahon found his way into the angle, at first berating Lesnar, who had involved himself in McMahon's rivalry with Zach Gowen, for losing to Angle. This all turned out to be a huge swerve that came into focus on the August 7, 2003 SmackDown in Kelowna, British Columbia. That night, Lesnar and McMahon were to face each other in a steel cage match with Angle as the special guest referee as per McMahon's orders on the previous week's program. During the course of the match, Lesnar had passed out due to a staged backstage incident and McMahon was set to pin him but Angle refused to allow McMahon to win that way. As the two men began to argue, Lesnar rose to his feet, revealing the ruse to the crowd, and F-5'd Angle. He then brutally beat Angle in the cage while McMahon watched, and celebrated with the owner of the company afterward, turning heel in the process.
At SummerSlam, [39] Lesnar lost to Angle when Angle made Lesnar tap out to the ankle lock.[40] After that, Lesnar began brutalizing smaller wrestlers and attacking his rivals on a more consistent basis. He returned to using the F-5 to propel his opponents' legs into the ringpost, as he did to Spanky and Gowen, and interfered in Angle's matches on two separate occasion.
On September 18, 2003, Lesnar received his third shot at Angle in as many months when he faced the champion in a sixty-minute Iron Man match for the title in what went down as one of the greatest matches in the history of SmackDown.[41] Lesnar employed an early strategy where he assaulted the champion with a steel chair early in the match, getting himself disqualified to lose the first fall but allowing himself a chance to do a fair amount of damage. Lesnar won the next three falls by hitting Angle with the F-5 and pinning him, putting Angle's own ankle lock on him and forcing him to submit, and then getting Angle counted out after hitting a second F-5 on the floor. Angle recovered to pin the champion after an Angle Slam, but Lesnar won two additional falls by first leveling him with the championship belt while the referee's back was turned and then hitting a superplex from the top. That made it five falls to two in favor of the challenger with the match more than halfway over. In the final ten minutes of the match, Angle moved to within one fall after a pin and a submission with the ankle lock. For the final two minutes of the match, Lesnar tried to dodge Angle by leaving the ring on several occasions. Angle finally caught the champions with 1:12 left and hit a series of German suplexes, keeping Lesnar locked up for nearly 45 seconds. Lesnar, however, was able to hold on to the referee and kicked Angle below the belt with :35 left. However, since Lesnar was still holding the official he was not disqualified, and with nineteen seconds remaining Angle appeared to be out of it. However, Lesnar fell into a trap set by the champion and Angle locked in the ankle lock again. This time, Angle applied a grapevine hold to the lock, wrenching hard on Lesnar's ankle for the final fifteen seconds of the bout. However, Lesnar was able to withstand the hold for the remaining time and as a result, by a final count of five falls to four, won the match and his third WWE Championship.[42]
With Angle finally out of his hair for the first time in nearly a year, Lesnar returned to feuding with The Undertaker. Lesnar had previously cost Undertaker the title in a match against then-champion Kurt Angle, which granted him a shot at Lesnar's title.[43] At No Mercy, Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Biker Chain match.[44] However, the rivalry came to an end when Undertaker instead chose to focus on McMahon.
After Paul Heyman returned to WWE as general manager of SmackDown, Lesnar aligned himself with his former manager. Since he had also since been aligning himself with his former rival The Big Show for several weeks after his betrayal of Angle, this brought Lesnar almost full circle from the year prior, where Heyman and Big Show had conspired with each other to rid Lesnar of his title. With Survivor Series coming up, Lesnar decided to challenge Angle to a traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team match, with Lesnar picking four additional wrestlers and Angle doing the same. Lesnar chose Big Show as his first pick, with Heyman adding a returning Nathan Jones and a debuting Matt Morgan to bring the team number to four. Angle, in the meantime, chose Chris Benoit and The APA to join his team. However, Faarooq was injured during a match with Lesnar and Big Show and Angle's team was forced to not only find a replacement for him, but to fill the fifth spot. Lesnar's team picked A-Train to fill that spot for them after he attacked John Cena, who refused to accept an invitation to join Lesnar's team. Cena instead joined Angle's team, and Angle added Hardcore Holly as the fifth member; Lesnar had injured Holly the year before and he hadn't wrestled since.[45] In the climax of the match, Chris Benoit became the second person to make Lesnar tap out.[44]
Lesnar faced Benoit in a singles bout two weeks later for the WWE Championship on SmackDown!, where Lesnar won after Benoit passed out to Lesnar's debuting Brock Lock submission hold.[46] He then began a brief feud with Hardcore Holly, defeating him at the Royal Rumble in January 2004 to retain his title.


Feuding with Goldberg and departure (2003–2004)

The Survivor Series event marked the first time Lesnar met Goldberg from the Raw brand, a man to whom Lesnar had been compared due to their similar physiques and undefeated streaks in wrestling. Lesnar claimed in a backstage interview that he could beat anybody in the world, leading to Goldberg interrupting the interview and introducing himself to Lesnar, shaking hands with him before leaving with a staredown.[44] Lesnar followed this rivalry with a feud involving Hardcore Holly.[47] In the storyline, Holly wanted revenge on Lesnar for legitimately injuring his neck during a previous match between the two in 2002 which left Holly in need of neck surgery and out of action for a year. At the Royal Rumble in 2004, Lesnar defeated Holly to retain the WWE Championship.[48] Later in the Royal Rumble match, Lesnar attacked Goldberg and delivered an F-5, enabling Kurt Angle to eliminate him.[44]
In February, Lesnar faced Eddie Guerrero for the title at No Way Out. Goldberg interfered in the match and was able to help Guerrero turn the tide in the match. Lesnar still had his chance to win by nailing an F-5 onto his title belt that Lesnar brought into the ring, but Guerrero countered with a DDT to drive the champion into the belt. After a frog splash, Guerrero pinned Lesnar to win the WWE Championship. An angry Lesnar then began feuding with Goldberg, blaming him for losing his title, and a match was set up between the two at WrestleMania XX.[49] During the feud with Goldberg, Lesnar was at odds with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was shown suggesting to Goldberg that he attack Lesnar at No Way Out.[50] When Lesnar attacked Austin on Raw and stole his four-wheeler, Austin was inserted as the special guest referee for the Wrestlemania match.[51] Behind the scenes, it was widely known that the match would be Goldberg's last in WWE.[citation needed] Only a week before Wrestlemania, however, rumors surfaced that Lesnar, too, was leaving in order to pursue a career in the National Football League.[citation needed] As a result, Lesnar's match with Goldberg became a fiasco as the fans at Madison Square Garden jeered and heckled both wrestlers vociferously.[52] Goldberg gained victory after delivering a Jackhammer to Lesnar and both men subsequently received Stone Cold Stunners from Austin.[52]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2005–2007)

On October 8, 2005, Lesnar won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in the Tokyo Dome, which included the then-champion Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono.[53] He won the match by pinning Masahiro Chono after an F-5, which he had renamed the Verdict, since WWE owns the trademark on the F-5 name.[11] After the match, he stated that this name was referring to his lawsuit against WWE. The match was his first pro wrestling match since leaving WWE.[11] Lesnar is one of the few American wrestlers to have held this title.[53]
On December 6, WWE filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent Lesnar from continuing to work with NJPW, but the court did not grant it, and thus Lesnar had two non-title victories against Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata.[54][55] Lesnar successfully defended his championship on January 4, 2006, against former champion Shinsuke Nakamura.[54] On January 13, WWE once again filed an injunction against Lesnar to stop him from defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on March 19. Evidently this was not enforced (nor granted), as he went on to have a tag team match with Shinsuke Nakamura against Akebono and Riki Chōshū at the Sumo Hall on February 19, which was won after a Verdict to Chōshū.[54][56] On March 19, at the Sumo Hall, Lesnar retained his championship against former Sumo Wrestling Grand Champion Akebono when Lesnar hit him with the championship belt and a DDT.[57] Lesnar went on to successfully defend his title against the winner of the New Japan Cup, Giant Bernard, on May 3, 2006, in Fukuoka. This was the first American vs. American title match in NJPW since Vader vs. Stan Hansen in 1990.[58]
On July 15, 2006, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that Brock Lesnar had been stripped of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as he would no longer be returning to defend the title due to "visa issues." A tournament was held on July 16 to determine the new champion, which was won by Hiroshi Tanahashi, the man Lesnar was originally scheduled to face. Lesnar continued to possess the physical IWGP Championship belt until late June 2007.[12]
Approximately one year later on June 29, 2007, Lesnar defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship (IGF promoter Antonio Inoki had stated he still viewed Lesnar as the "proper" IWGP Champion, as he was not defeated for the title) against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle in a champion versus champion match. Angle defeated Lesnar with the Ankle lock to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as recognized by IGF and TNA.[12] and challenged him to an MMA fight.[59] This was Lesnar's last match as a professional wrestler until 2012 when he re-signed with WWE.

Lawsuit

Lesnar had previously signed a no-compete clause in order to be released from his contract with WWE, which prohibited him from working for any other sports entertainment or mixed martial arts companies before June 2010. Lesnar had anticipated leaving wrestling entirely, but his inability to secure a career in professional football led to him challenging this ruling in court.[60] WWE responded by demanding damages as a result of Lesnar allegedly breaching the agreement by appearing at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in 2004.[61] In July 2005, the two sides dropped their claims and entered negotiations to renew their relationship.[62] WWE had offered Lesnar a contract, but on August 2, 2005, WWE's official website reported that Lesnar had withdrawn from any involvement with the company.[63] The lawsuit was then entered into settlement on September 21, but talks broke down.[64][65]
On January 14, 2006, Judge Christopher Droney stated that unless WWE gave him a good argument between then and January 25, he would rule in favor of Brock Lesnar, giving him a summary judgment. This would have enabled Lesnar to work anywhere he wanted immediately.[66] WWE was later granted a deadline postponement.[67] On April 24, World Wrestling Entertainment announced on their official website, WWE.com, that both parties had mutually come to a settlement and on June 12, a federal judge dismissed Lesnar's lawsuit against WWE after both parties requested for the case to be dismissed.[68]

Return to WWE (2012)



On April 2, 2012, Lesnar returned to the WWE at the end of Monday Night Raw, attacking John Cena.[69] The following week, general manager John Laurinaitis introduced Lesnar as the new face of WWE, he then announced Lesnar would face Cena at the Extreme Rules PPV. Cena then interrupted and slapped Lesnar in the face, the two then brawled which resulted in Cena getting a busted lip. On April 16, it was announced, via the official WWE website, that Lesnar would face Cena in an Extreme Rules match.[70] At the pay-per-view, Lesnar bloodied Cena with MMA-style strikes, but would ultimately lose the match.[71]
The following night on Raw, Chief Operating Officer Triple H returned to confront Lesnar over his new contract demands, saying he wouldn't be authorizing any of them. Lesnar would then attack Triple H, apply a Kimura lock and break his arm.[72] On the May 7 episode of Raw, Paul Heyman, serving as legal representative for Lesnar, announced that Lesnar had quit WWE.[4] The following week, Heyman announced that Lesnar was filing a lawsuit against WWE for breach of contract.[73] At the No Way Out pay-per-view in June, Triple H challenged Lesnar, who was not present, to a match at SummerSlam,[74] which Heyman refused on Lesnar's behalf the following night on Raw.[75]

 

National Football League (2004–2005)

After his final match at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar sidelined his career in WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League.[9] This move upset many in WWE, as the company felt they had invested heavily in Lesnar. World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed Lesnar's departure on their official website WWE.com by the statement
Brock Lesnar has made a personal decision to put his WWE career on hold to prepare to tryout for the National Football League this season. Brock has wrestled his entire professional career in the WWE and we are proud of his accomplishments and wish him the best in his new endeavor.[76]
Lesnar later told a Minnesota radio show that he had three wonderful years in WWE, but had grown unhappy and had always wanted to play pro football, adding that he did not want to be 40 years old and wondering if he could have made it in football. In an interview about starting with the NFL, Lesnar made the statement

Lesnar played for the Minnesota Vikings, where he created controversy in some games by starting minor fights and got heat from the Kansas City Chiefs for a sack on quarterback Damon Huard, which drew a big response from the crowd.[78] Huard was hit hard and had to go to the sidelines and sit out a few plays.[78] After playing in the preseason, Lesnar ended up being a late cut.[10] He declined an invitation to play as a representative of the Vikings in NFL Europa because he wanted to be closer to home with his family.[10]

 

Mixed martial arts

Hero's (2007)

On April 28, 2006, Lesnar appeared inside the ring after the final match of K-1 Hero's Las Vegas and announced his intent to join the MMA promotion. He trained with Minnesota Martial Arts Academy under Greg Nelson, and University of Minnesota Assistant Head wrestling coach Marty Morgan.[84] Brock Lesnar announced on August 12 in Las Vegas that he had signed a deal with the K-1 promotion.[85] His first fight was scheduled for June 2, 2007, on the K-1 Dynamite!! USA show against Choi Hong-man of Korea.[86][87] However, prior to the match, Choi Hong-Man was replaced by Min Soo Kim. Lesnar submitted Min Soo Kim due to strikes in 1 minute 9 seconds of the first round to win his first official MMA match.[13]

Ultimate Fighting Championship (2008–2011)

During UFC 77, it was announced that Brock Lesnar had reached a deal to fight with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).[3] On February 2, 2008, Lesnar made his debut with the promotion in an event titled UFC 81:Breaking Point against former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir.[88] Lesnar secured an early takedown, but was deducted a point for hitting Mir on the back of the head. Following another takedown by Lesnar, Mir managed to secure a kneebar and force a submission at 1:30 of the first round.[88] Due to the large size of his hands,[89] Lesnar was wearing 4XL gloves for the fight, making him the second man in Nevada's combat sports history to wear such gloves after Choi Hong-man.[90] At UFC 82, it was announced that former UFC Heavyweight Champion and UFC Hall of Fame inductee Mark Coleman would fight Lesnar at UFC 87:Seek and Destroy.[91] Coleman was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a training injury, and Lesnar's opponent was changed to Heath Herring.[92] In the early seconds of the first round, Lesnar dropped Herring with a straight right. For the rest of the fight, Lesnar kept the fight on the ground and went on to win by unanimous decision.[93]
Lesnar's next opponent was Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 91:Couture vs Lesnar on November 15.[94] Lesnar beat Couture via a technical knockout in Round 2, becoming the UFC Heavyweight Champion.[95]
On December 27, 2008, at UFC 92, Frank Mir defeated Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira for the Interim Heavyweight title and was to face Lesnar for the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 98. Immediately after winning the Interim Heavyweight title, Mir found Lesnar in the crowd and shouted at him "You've got my belt."
However, due to a knee injury to Mir, the title unification match with Lesnar that was originally slated to be the UFC 98 main event was postponed. The news broke during the broadcast of UFC 96 that the bout had been cancelled and was replaced by Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida for the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship."[96] Lesnar won the postponed rematch with Mir at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009, via Knockout after dominating his opponent for the duration of the bout. The win earned Lesnar Beatdown of the Year honors from Sherdog for 2009. It's an award he shares with Anderson Silva after his win over Forrest Griffin.[97] During his post-match celebration, Lesnar flipped off the crowd who had been booing him. He made a disparaging comment about the PPV's primary sponsor Bud Light, claiming they "won't pay me nothin'", promoting Coors Light instead. He then stated he might even "get on top of [his] wife" after the show. He would later apologize for his actions in his post-fight press conference, where he held a bottle of Bud Light.[98]
In January 2009, Brock Lesnar signed a supplement endorsement deal with Dymatize Nutrition. A CD containing training footage of Lesnar was included with boxes of Dymatize Xpand and Energized Xpand.[99]
On July 1, 2009, it was reported that the winner of the Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez fight at UFC 104 would face Brock Lesnar in his second title defense on a date yet to be determined; however, the UFC then reconsidered the contendership bout and Lesnar was scheduled to defend his belt against Shane Carwin at UFC 106 on November 21.[100]
On October 26, 2009, it was announced that Lesnar had pulled out of the UFC 106 card in which he was set to face Shane Carwin for the UFC Heavyweight Championship due to an illness. UFC President Dana White said that Brock had been ill for three weeks, claiming he had never been this sick in his life and that it would take him a while to recover; his fight with Carwin was rescheduled for UFC 108 in early 2010.[101] Lesnar initially sought treatment in Canada, but later told reporters that he had received "Third World treatment" from malfunctioning equipment at a hospital in Brandon, Manitoba, and that seeking better medical treatment in the United States saved his life. Lesnar, who describes himself as a conservative and a supporter of the US Republican Party, went on to criticize Canadian-style health care further and said that he shared his experience in an effort to speak "on the behalf of the doctors in the United States that don't want health care reform to happen and neither do I."[102]
On November 4, it was confirmed that Lesnar was suffering from mononucleosis and that his bout with Carwin would have to wait a bit longer, thus the fight for UFC 108 was cancelled.[103] On November 14 at the UFC 105 post-fight conference, Dana stated, "He's not well and he's not going to be getting well anytime soon." and that an interim title match might need to be set up.[104] In addition to mononucleosis, it was revealed that Lesnar was suffering from a serious case of diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder, which would require surgery.[105] After further diagnosis, on November 16 Lesnar underwent surgery to close a perforation in his intestine that had been leaking fecal matter into his abdomen, causing pain, abscesses, and overtaxing his immune system to the point that he contracted mononucleosis. From the level of damage to Lesnar's system, the surgeon estimated that the intestinal condition had been ongoing for around a year.[106]
In January 2010, Lesnar announced on ESPN SportsCenter that he was scheduled to make a return to the UFC in the summer of 2010.[107] A match between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin took place on March 27 at UFC 111 to determine the UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion, and Brock's next opponent.[108] Shane Carwin defeated Frank Mir by KO in the first round, becoming the new Interim Champion. After the fight, Brock came into the ring and stated "It was a good fight, but he's wearing a belt that's a make believe belt, I've got the real championship belt."[109]
Lesnar faced Shane Carwin at UFC 116 to unify the heavyweight titles.[110] After Carwin knocked him down early in the first round, Lesnar survived a ground and pound attack. Early in the second round, Lesnar was able to take Carwin down, attain a full mount, then move into side-control and finish the fight with an arm triangle choke. With the victory, Lesnar again became the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, earning his first UFC Submission Of The Night and giving Carwin his first loss.
Lesnar's next defense was against undefeated top contender Cain Velasquez on October 23, 2010, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California at UFC 121.[111] Dana White announced via SportsNation that the UFC would be bringing back UFC Primetime to hype up Lesnar vs. Velasquez at UFC 121.[112] Lesnar was defeated by Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Championship via TKO in the first round at UFC 121 on October 23, 2010.[113]
On January 11, 2011, it was revealed that Lesnar would be one of the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, opposite to Junior dos Santos,[114] with the two expected to face each other on June 11, 2011 at UFC 131.[115] Lesnar, however, was struck with another bout of diverticulitis and had to withdraw from the bout on May 12, 2011.[116] He was replaced by Shane Carwin who lost against dos Santos at UFC 131.[117]
Lesnar underwent surgery on May 27, 2011, to help battle his problems with diverticulitis. UFC president Dana White said that Lesnar had a 12-inch piece of his colon removed.[14]
ESPN The Magazine, in its May 2011 issue, did a story listing the highest paid athlete based on base salary and earnings for the most recent calendar year or most recent season in 30 sports. Brock Lesnar topped the list for mixed martial artists at $5.3 million, which included his reported bout salaries and estimated pay-per-view bonuses.[118]
In the summer of 2011 Lesnar announced that he was ready to get back into the Octagon, stating that "I feel like a new man, healthy, strong, I feel like I used to feel."[119]
His return match was scheduled to be at UFC 141 on December 30 in Las Vegas against former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.[120] Lesnar had to cut weight for the fight in order to meet the 265lb weight limit and entered the Octagon with a potential title shot at the new champion Junior dos Santos for the match victor.[121] During the match, Overeem targeted his opponent's midsection and was able to land several strikes before delivering a powerful kick that dropped Lesnar to his knee and left him prey to a barrage of punches resulting in the referee stopping the fight and declaring Overeem the winner via TKO at 2:26 of the first round.[122][123] After the defeat, Lesnar announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, mentioning his struggles with diverticulitis and saying "tonight was the last time you'll see me in the octagon".[122][123] UFC President Dana White commented that while he wasn't aware of the decision, Lesnar's decision to retire was not a surprise to him.[123]

Other media

Lesnar makes an appearance in the video game WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain which is named after the quote that former WWE commentator Tazz attributed to Lesnar, "here comes the pain."[124] Other video games in which Lesnar has appeared include WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE WrestleMania XIX, WWE Crush Hour,, WWE Raw 2 Madden NFL 06, UFC 2009 Undisputed, UFC Undisputed 2010 ], PlayStation 2 version of Wrestle Kingdom and most recently,WWE '12. as a Legend.[125][126][127][128] With the release of UFC Undisputed 2010 Lesnar became the first man to appear on the cover of a WWE and UFC video game as he was the cover star on Here Comes the Pain.

Brock Lesnar covering WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain

Brock Lesnar covering UFC Undisputed 2010
Lesnar was on the cover of Flex Magazine.[129] Lesnar was featured in Minneapolis' City Pages in February 2008.[130] In February 2008 Lesnar was featured on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine.[131]
WWE Home Video released a DVD in 2003 titled Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain. The DVD covered Lesnar's career up to 2003 which featured some of his biggest matches. Lesnar owns an MMA clothing line called "DeathClutch".[132]

Personal life

Lesnar has one daughter, Mya Lynn who was born on April 10, 2002, with his ex-fiancée, Nicole.[134] He left Nicole in 2003 in order to begin a relationship with Rena "Sable" Mero who had been recently divorced from Marc Mero. Lesnar and Mero were engaged in 2004, separated in 2005, then reconciled later that year

and married on May 6, 2006.[135] Lesnar has one stepchild with Mero: Mariah, a stepdaughter born to Mero and her late husband, Wayne Richardson.[136] The couple had their first child together, a son named Turk in June 2009.[137] The couple had their second child, a son named Duke in July 2010.[138]
Lesnar has numerous tattoos, with the most prominent being a stylized skull in the center of his back and a large sword on his chest.[130]


On December 15, 2011, Lesnar was charged with hunting infractions of a trip to Alberta on November 19, 2010. On a court appearance in Medicine Hat in December 20, two charges were dropped but pleaded guilty to the charge of improper tagging of an animal. Lesnar was fined $1,725 and given a six-month hunting suspension.[140][141]

Mixed martial arts record

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 5–3 Alistair Overeem TKO (kick to the body  punches) UFC 141 December 30, 2011 1 2:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Announced retirement after fight due to diverticulitis [142]
Loss 5–2 Cain Velasquez TKO (punches) UFC 121 October 23, 2010 1 4:12 Anaheim, California, United States Lost UFC Heavyweight Championship
Win 5–1 Shane Carwin Submission (arm triangle choke) UFC 116 July 3, 2010 2 2:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended UFC Heavyweight Championship. Unified UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship; Submission of the Night
Win 4–1 Frank Mir TKO (punches) UFC 100 July 11, 2009 2 1:48 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended UFC Heavyweight Championship. Unified UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship
Win 3–1 Randy Couture TKO (punches) UFC 91 November 15, 2008 2 3:07 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won UFC Heavyweight Championship.
Win 2–1 Heath Herring Decision (unanimous) UFC 87 August 9, 2008 3 5:00 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Loss 1–1 Frank Mir Submission (kneebar) UFC 81 February 2, 2008 1 1:30 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 1–0 Min-Soo Kim Submission (punches) Dynamite!! USA June 2, 2007 1 1:09 Los Angeles, United States

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Collegiate wrestling

Mixed martial arts

Professional wrestling

1Lesnar's first reign was as WWE Undisputed Champion.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 Himself TV Series

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2002 WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth Himself Video game
2003 WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain Himself Video game
2003 WWE WrestleMania XIX Himself Video game
2003 WWE Crush Hour Himself Video game
2003 WWE Raw 2 Himself Video game
2006 Madden NFL 06 Himself Video game
2009 UFC 2009 Undisputed Himself Video game
2010 UFC Undisputed 2010 Himself Video game
2011 WWE '12 Himself Video game
2012 UFC Undisputed 3 Himself Video game

 
















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