Clearing up the confusion over Brock Lesnar's rumoured return to UFC action
Don't get too excited.
The UFC rumour mill kicked into overdrive on Wednesday afternoon when it was suggested that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar had re-entered the testing pool for the United States Anti-Doping Agency, sparking talk of a return to the Octagon.
Often reliable insider, Dizz, got the MMA community intrigued after reporting that he'd heard Lesnar was expected to drop his WWE Universal Championship belt at Summerslam and aim to make what would come as an unlikely comeback to the UFC.
I just had a 2nd person tell me that Brock Lesnar is back in the USADA testing pool. Rumor around WWE is Brock is dropping the belt at SS.
— #Dizz (@TalkMMA) July 19, 2017
Intimations were that the 40-year-old would dust off his 4XL gloves before the year's end but it was pointed out by several fight fans that Lesnar still has time to serve on the suspension imposed on him after he twice tested positive for the banned oestrogen blocker clomiphene when he returned to fight Mark Hunt last summer.
The UFC's anti-doping partner, as well as the Nevada State Athletic Commission, suspended Lesnar for one year and the NSAC also fined the wrestler-turned-fighter $250,000 for the failed drugs test while his victory over Hunt was changed to a No Contest.
The incident prompted Lesnar's second retirement from MMA earlier this year and that looked very much like that.
But the rumours surrounding his return to the USADA testing pool must be countered with the fact that Lesnar would be forced to see out the remainder of his suspension upon re-entering the pool, a period of time which is believed to be in excess of six months, before competing.
While there is no way of exempting a fighter from suspension, the UFC could, in theory at least, waive the six months of testing that fighters must typically go through when they return following a retirement decision. Although that seems unlikely given the waves of criticism that the promotion experienced last summer, having exempted Lesnar only for him to test positive in more than one test.
UFC Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky, who oversees the partnership between the UFC and USADA has claimed Lesnar has not begun the process of returning to the testing pool.Novitzky told MMA Junkie:
"(Lesnar) is not currently enrolled in the USADA testing pool, nor has there been any inquiry on his part to do so."
It would not exactly be surprising for the UFC to be open to the idea of another Lesnar return given the recent lack of legitimate superstars at their disposal - Conor McGregor will have spent more than a year out of the Octagon come November while Ronda Rousey seems to be done with the sport entirely.
The message here is - don't be shocked if the Lesnar re-enters the USADA testing pool for one last test of his fighting mettle but, for now, there seems to be nothing to the rumours.