His time inside the Octagon has come to an end. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesner has decided to put his mixed martial arts career behind him and move on.
“I’m here to say that my legacy in the Octagon is over,” said Lesner. “However, this Sunday at WrestleMania will not be my last. I’m hanging up all thoughts [of a return to MMA].”
This news comes on the heals of Lesner inking a new deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The 37-year-old will end his professional MMA career with a 5-3 overall record, 4-3 under the UFC banner.
Lesner ends his MMA career on a two-fight losing streak. His last UFC fight came at UFC 141 in a TKO (Kick to the Body and Punches) loss to current heavyweight Alistair Overeem back in December 2011.
The Webster, South Dakota native defeated Randy Couture at UFC 91 on November 15, 2008 via second round TKO (punches) to earn the UFC Heavyweight belt. Lesner went on to defend the belt at UFC 100 against Frank Mir in 2009 and UFC 114 against Shane Carwin in 2010 before losing the belt to current UFC Champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 in 2010.
Lesner leaves MMA tied (Velasquez, Couture, Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia) for most consecutive UFC Heavyweight Championship defenses (two), one Submission of the Night bonus and one Knockout of the Night bonus. He was also named the 2009 Breakthrough Fighter of the Year at the World MMA Awards.
After leaving the UFC a few years ago due to health concerns most MMA fans were hoping to see the return of Lesner to the Octagon in the near future, but the rumors of his return can now be put to bed.
MMA will miss you, Brock Lesner!