Lesnar Turned Down Cormier Fight Over ESPN+ Deal
Many wondered why former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar would announce his retirement from MMA after returning last year to confront Daniel Cormier and return to the USADA testing pool.
Lesnar, who was negotiating a deal to fight Daniel Cormier in August at UFC 241 in Anaheim, would tell Dana White last week that he’d be walking away from the sport instead of signing to fight the current heavyweight champion.
Why? Well, per Dave Meltzer, Lesnar was worried he’d be getting shorted a huge payday because of the UFC’s new deal with ESPN+.
The deal, announced prior to UFC 236 last month, ended a 25+ year run of the UFC airing their pay-per-view events on traditional pay-per-view, instead customers could only purchase the events if they were an ESPN+ subscriber.
On the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer says Brock Lesnar wanted a flat fee for his next UFC fight due to UFC pay-per-view now being online only. Dave says the number was deemed too high & turned down by the UFC.
— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) May 2, 2019
Lesnar, a former champion and huge star in the MMA world, most likely has it in his contract they he gets a specific percentage of Pay-Per-View purchases, which would be vastly diminished as of-now under the current deal with ESPN.
Now, it will be Stipe Miocic getting his rematch against Cormier this August, while Lesnar will most likely remain with the WWE, as he is scheduled to appear for the company’s June event in Saudi Arabia.
Report: MMA Mania