Brock Lesnar joined ESPN’s SportsCenter to speak to Hannah Storm.
Brock Lesnar talks about why he left the wrestling business to go join UFC, his time in Japan and his big fight against Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania.
“I was on the road and I was injured and I was the champion and I didn’t want to quit. I had a no-quit attitude, Vicodin and vodka were my closest friends… and my closest enemies.” Lesnar said. “I had to get out of the wrestling business back then to save my life. I just wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy at the time. I felt like a caged animal. I didn’t want that. I still had a competitive nature inside me. I had a calling to go back and compete again.”
Lesnar left the WWE back in 2004 and headed to Japan to begin his MMA career. Eventually his hard work and determination led him to the UFC, but it wasn’t plain sailing for the two-time NCAA champ, as it took a few twists and turns to get there.
“I didn’t know what it was, but I tried the NFL,” Lesnar remembers. “I think the NFL was more of a scapegoat, just to get out and say I did it, I tried it. I was on the Viking’s practice squad, I was the last guy cut from the team. They wanted to send me to Europe, they wanted to keep me, but they couldn’t. I needed to brush up, I needed the experience, so they wanted to send me to Europe, and I didn’t wanna go.”
“I win my first MMA fight, Dana White won’t take my phone calls from my lawyers and manager and so I said fine. Randy Couture was fighting Gabriel Gonzaga for the heavyweight title, so I said buy a ticket and we’ll go to the show. And I bought a ticket, sat in the stands, watched the whole show and at the end of the show, I jumped the guard rail, escaped a few security guards, ran up and tapped Dana White on the shoulder and introduced myself, and that’s where the ball got started rolling.”
The pure determination and passion for fighting proved that Dana was right to hire Lesnar, as he went on to become the UFC’s heavyweight champion and the biggest pay-per-view attraction of his time. Only recently has Conor McGregor managed to break Lesnar’s PPV and gate records. After two losses in a row, against Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, Lesnar left the UFC in 2011 and returned to the WWE stepping into the limelight at the Show Of Shows and taking on the then-undefeated Undertaker at WrestleMania. A match in which Lesnar went on to shocked the entire world and defeat The Undertaker.