The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship
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The hulking Webster, South Dakota, native used his superstardom in
World Wrestling Entertainment as a springboard into an extended run
as the biggest box-office draw in mixed martial arts, where he cut
down legends, captured the UFC heavyweight championship, broke
records on pay-per-view and banked millions in prize money. Though
Lesnar’s stay in MMA was brief—he fought just nine times—and was
interrupted by a life-threatening bout with diverticulitis, no one
can deny the sudden impact he made. Now 42, he returned to a
part-time gig with the WWE after his victory over Mark Hunt at
UFC 200 was overturned and changed to a no contest in light of a
positive test for clomiphene.
With all indications pointing to the reality that Lesnar has
competed in MMA for the last time, here are five things you might
not know about him:
1. A championship pedigree was established as an
Lesnar was a four-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Bismarck
State College and the University of Minnesota, where he won a
national championship in 2000. He compiled a ridiculous 106-5
record between those two stops before turning his attention to more
2. His collegiate exploits took him down a path to
The World Wrestling Federation—now World Wrestling
Entertainment—signed Lesnar in 2000 and assigned him to Ohio Valley
Wrestling, a feeder organization based in Louisville, Kentucky.
He made his
WWF debut on March 18, 2002 and went on to win the prestigious
King of the Ring tournament some three months later.
3. Few wrestlers in WWE history can match his
Over the course of his 18-year pro wrestling career, Lesnar has
established himself as one of the most successful and recognizable
WWE stars of all-time. He became at the time
the youngest WWE champion in history at SummerSlam on Aug. 25,
2002, when he defeated Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the age of
25. Lesnar has enjoyed five separate reigns totaling 753 days
as WWE champion, good for sixth on the company’s all-time list
behind Bruno Sammartino (4,040), Hulk Hogan (2,185), Bob Backlund
(2,083), John Cena (1,387) and Pedro Morales (1,027).
4. He courted pro football.
Lesnar hit the pause button on his professional wrestling pursuits
to chase a potential career in the NFL, this despite not having
played organized football since high school. He signed with
Minnesota in July 2004 and appeared in a few preseason games for
the Vikings before being released. Lesnar later turned down an
opportunity to play football in Europe.
5. His ascent through the MMA ranks was
arts beckoned in 2007, as Lesnar made his pro debut opposite
South Korean judoka Min Soo Kim
under the K-1 Hero’s flag and struck the Olympic silver medalist
into submission in just 69 seconds. He signed with the Ultimate
Fighting Championship four months later, went 1-1 in his first two
appearances and then challenged Randy
Couture for the undisputed heavyweight title at UFC 91 on Nov.
15, 2008. Lesnar stopped Couture on second-round punches to capture
the championship in just his fourth professional bout. Successful
title defenses against Frank Mir and
Carwin followed before health issues and ill-fated encounters
Velasquez and Alistair
Overeem derailed his career, prompting his return to the
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