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By Mike Johnson on 2016-06-06 10:52:00

Former WWE and UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar appeared on ESPN Sportscenter this morning in studio for a face to face interview with Hannah Storm to discuss his return to the Octagon to fight at UFC 200 on 7/9 in Las Vegas, Lesnar's first MMA fight since 2011.

Lesnar explained that he was returning to MMA because his decision to retire and focus on WWE was a hard decision and one that has haunted him for the last 15 months.  He said that he couldn't "live like that for the rest of my life."  Lesnar said he was a big believer in living out your dreams and facing your fears and he said that facing the reality of not wanting to wish 20 years from now that he had fought again.

He said he was on the biggest stage, UFC 100 and now he will do it again at UFC 200.

When asked about the origins of the return, Lesnar said it was very simple and he was sitting in his farm having a cup of coffee.  He said he woke up every day wondering if he made the right decision.  He said he didn't tell anyone, not even his wife and it was haunting him.  He said that in WWE, he could have the competitive feelings inside the ring but the true competitor in him didn't allow him not to return.

Lesnar said that at the top of his career, he wasn't at the top of his game due to health issues, so he feels cheated.  He said he never lost to an opponent in his heart except to diverticulitis.  He said that his losses were due to the injury and today feels 1000% better.  He said he's not going to fake it and say he's in the greatest shape of his life but this is for real and he's excited.

When asked who his opponent is, Lesnar said that Mark Hunt has just signed the contract to face him.  Lesnar said that he didn't have any say in who he would face.  He's never turned down a fight and never walked away from a fight.  He said that Dana White never gave him options and just told him who he wanted to fight. 

Lesnar said he's a grappler at heart and Hunt is a heavy-hitter and that's what people want to see - opposing disciplines against each other.  He said he's looking forward to working on his stand-up game.

Lesnar was asked how WWE and UFC came together to let this happen.  Lesnar wasn't called by anyone.  Lesnar said the process began 3 months ago.  He asked UFC what were the chances of him fighting at UFC 200.  He said he went and had a big boy conversation with the boss. 

Lesnar was asked what WWE gets out of this.  Lesnar said it's narrow-minded to think that.  He's a two sport athlete.  He said that he's blessed that both companies have faith in Brock Lesnar returning to the Octagon.  He said to represent the show means a lot to him.

Lesnar was asked why he was brought back.  He said "big business."  Lesnar said that he's a prizefighter and titles don't make money.  He said that he's doing this from the heart and it just happens that he's going to be making a lot of money.

Lesnar declined to say how much he was getting paid for the fight.  He said everyone's going to make money.

Lesnar said he feels like a weight is lifted off his shoulders with the announcement.

Lesnar was asked if 7/9 will be enough.  He said it may just be a tease and he will have to see once they cross that bridge.  He said he has Summerslam in August too.  He said he's on the card but doesn't know who he's facing.

Lesnar said he's been thinking about doing this for some time.  Lesnar said that once he got the go-ahead from "the higher powers" he began training and seeing how he felt.  He said that the training for WWE and UFC is completely different.

Lesnar said that sealing the deal was all about getting everyone on the same page.

Lesnar was asked about Ariel Helwani being banned from UFC for breaking the story on Lesnar's return.  Brock said he doesn't know who Helwani is and doesn't do Twitter and doesn't care about anyone but himself.  It should be noted that Helwani has interviewed Lesnar in the past.

Lesnar was asked thoughts on Conor McGregor.  Lesnar said he knows of him and he knows that the sports has evolved, even from the first time Lesnar competed.  He said you have to walk the walk and talk the talk.  He said McGregor is great for the company and if someone wants to claim to be the biggest PPV draw in the world, great.  He said that all he knows is what he was paid and that made him happy.  He said hanging championships on the wall don't pay the bills.

Lesnar told a story of meeting Muhammad Ali.  He said that he shook his hand and Ali didn't have to say anything to him.  He said it was a gracious handshake and he felt something powerful.  He said he's watched all of Ali's fights and when he met him, he felt his power and presence.  He said for Ali to live with Parkinson's for so many years was a battle in itself.  He said that was a feat of it's own. 

Lesnar was asked about legacy and said that is for someone else to decide.  He just has to get up in the morning and be OK with who he is.  He said people who worry about legacies are shallow and he is just moving forward.


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