Is Brock Lesnar on his way to the Octagon? Contract status up in the air
At WWE Summerslam 2018, Brock Lesnar lost the Universal Championship to Roman Reigns.
Prior to the bout, it was reported that Lesnar had had a closed-door meeting with WWE officials to discuss his future with the company.
Following the expiration of his three-year WWE contract, Lesnar was reported to have signed a new long-term deal with the company. It later emerged those initial reports were false and Lesnar had only signed a short-term deal through Summerslam.
This enabled WWE to book the surprise finish to the Wrestlemania main event between Lesnar and challenger, Roman Reigns. Widely expected to win the belt Reigns came up short to Lesnar on the big show after Lesnar re-signed.
It is not yet known what the outcome of Lesnar's discussions with WWE management were on Summerslam night, but clues may have been evident on last night's episode of Monday Night Raw.
Lesnar did not appear himself but his advocate Paul Heyman did. Heyman demanded Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle book his charge in a rematch with the new Champion, Reigns. Angle refused but was then placed on gardening leave by his boss, Stephanie McMahon.
Baron Corbin has been placed in temporary charge. Could Corbin overrule Angle and grant Lesnar his re-match at the next pay per view at Hell in a Cell in September?
Probably not. Summerslam is surely the end to the long-running Lesnar-Reigns saga. Last night's episode of Raw suggested that Reigns's next conflict will be with Money in the Bank holder, Braun Strowman who once again attempted to cash in on Raw following his planned, failed cash-in at Summerslam.
Lesnar's future, at least for now appears to be with the UFC.
It is well known that Lesnar has re-entered the USADA testing pool and appears to be preparing for a UFC Heavyweight Championship match-up with Daniel Cormier, following their pre-planned confrontation at UFC 226, in which the challenge was laid out.
Lesnar should be free to fight in January and Cormier is his most likely opponent. There is a legitimate possibility that he will also become UFC Heavyweight Champion. If that is the case, then it's also unlikely that his UFC return will be a once and done.
However, would Lesnar, at the age of 41 want to return to UFC full time? Would Lesnar want to give up his cushy, lucrative, part-time WWE schedule for the harsh, exhausting, months-long training camps in order to compete at the highest level?
What is clear, is that Lesnar does want to fight again, even if it is only once more. He wouldn't have appeared at UFC 226 if he didn't. Lesnar surely would also want to erase memories of the debacle of his UFC 200 return wherein he defeated Mark Hunt, only for his win to be nullified and ruled a No Contest after he failed a drugs test.
That failed test was also an embarrassment for WWE, who were forced to admit that they did not drug test their part-time performers when onlookers questioned how he had avoided failing WWE drug tests.
Would WWE agree to sign Lesnar to a contract that permits him to fight for UFC, given the events of UFC 200?
In actual fact, it is highly probable they will. Despite his flaws, Lesnar is a bonafide draw for both WWE and UFC. Both companies lack money drawing stars and Lesnar unequivocally is one of the biggest.
My prediction: Lesnar re-signs with WWE and has a number of UFC fights written into his new contract.
Perhaps at next year's Summerslam event, Lesnar will be the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Time will tell...