UFC president Dana White may have played it cool when he said he was “happy” Brock Lesnar (pictured) scored a lucrative contract extension to remain with the WWE, but fellow UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta was apparently far more aggressive in trying to lure Lesnar back to the cage.
After months of debating his future, Lesnar decided Monday night to re-sign with the WWE after they made him an offer he “couldn’t refuse.” However, before making the official announcement on Tuesday afternoon’s episode of SportsCenter, Lesnar gave a courtesy call to White and Fertitta to alert them of his plans.
That’s when Fertitta decided to up his ante.
“Lorenzo said to me, ‘Can we sharpen our pencil? Can we double it,'” Lesnar revealed to The AP about the UFC’s counter offer. “I said, ‘It’s not about that. I’m calling you to tell you where my heart is, and it’s not about the money.’
“And then in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Well, yeah, it is about the money, but I don’t have to beat myself up for it.’ To prepare for another MMA fight, we’re talking 16, 18 weeks of pure hell, and then the cage door shuts and it’s on.”
Terms of Lesnar’s new WWE deal have not been disclosed, nor were either of the UFC’s offers to their former heavyweight champion.
While Lesnar’s time with the UFC was brief – he went 4-3 between 2008-2011, with four of those bouts being championship affairs – he is the biggest mainstream star to ever perform inside the octagon.
Lesnar, who turns 38 in July, reportedly went as far as contacting coaches and training partners to prepare for an MMA comeback. However, the idea of fighting for real at this stage in his life wasn’t nearly as appealing as fake fighting.
“I tried to picture myself coming down to the cage, and it was like a bad dream,” Lesnar said. “It just wasn’t right. It didn’t feel right.”