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On the illness that kept him from competing (2010)

“Everybody’s got life-changing experiences and this is one of them for me. I believe things happen for a reason, and this gave me a different perspective on life and on my family. I’m a young guy – these things aren’t supposed to happen. I consider myself a healthy human being. I’m 32 years old, and for something like this to happen, I definitely had to re-evaluate. When you think you’re doing all the right things and all of a sudden something like this happens, obviously you’re not, so I had to make some changes.”

On his return to the Octagon (2010)

“Let’s make it clear. I still am the UFC heavyweight champion.

Pre-Carwin (2010)
 “At any moment this could be over and I could be Joe Blow serving burgers or doing whatever. Anything can happen at any given moment, and I try to live every day to the fullest, and I really don’t take anything for granted anymore. I never really used to, but this whole setback for me last November was a hurdle in my life that I guess God thought I had to overcome to test me and to make sure this is what I really wanted in my life. There are challenges in your life that are put before you for certain reasons, and this was one of those times.”

Not a social media kinda guy (2010)

 “I don’t pay attention to anything, I really don’t. I don’t buy pay-per-views, I don’t go on the internet. I live, eat, and breathe fighting, but it’s all about me. I don’t care about Who’s Who in Ultimate Fighting, I really don’t. It’s very important to not get too involved. It’s like a job. It’s part of your life, but you’ve got to realize how to separate the two. When you go to work, you go to work, and when you leave the office, you leave the office. I don’t bring the office home with me.”

On his return to the Octagon – Part II (2016)

“The last couple fights, from (Shane) Carwin to (Cain) Velasquez to (Alistair) Overeem, aren’t very fond memories. In my mind, it was just a struggle to be healthy and a struggle to be in the right mindset. I should have stepped away from the Octagon and let my body and my mind heal and become one again. But that fighter inside of you just doesn’t want to quit. And so for years, I pondered it and wondered.”

On Brock Lesnar (2011)

“I was born this way. It ain’t an act, and it’s not a line. There’s nobody out there like me. I was born to do this, and I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me.”

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