Brock Lesnar’s triumphant return to MMA was solidified when referee Dan Miragliotta raised Lesnar’s hand in victory as they stood in the middle of the octagon at UFC 200. Lesnar had put in a solid night of work to grind out the decision win against a dangerous and elite striker, but that moment was short lived.
On Friday, less than a week after UFC 200, the UFC was notified of a potential anti-doping violation by Lesnar from an out-of-competition sample collected on June 28th. Lesnar didn’t say a lot on the matter, only promising to get to the bottom of it.
As quickly as that test seemed to be slipping from the minds of MMA fans, it was announced by the UFC that U.S. Anti-doping Agency has notified it of another positive test from Lesnar’s in-competition sample taken at UFC 200.
The substance in both tests were the same, which isn’t necessarily surprising considering the tests were less than two weeks a part. But sources for a variety of MMA reporters indicated that the substance Lesnar tested positive for was clomiphene, the same anti-estrogen blocker that Jon Jones tested positive for before being removed from the fight card.
Jones told fans on Twitter that he and Lesnar were not in the “same boat” on Monday, but that no longer appears to bet rue.
An anti-estrogen agent is popular amongst users of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs coming off a cycle because it prevents certain side effects. And while the situation looks dire for Lesnar, there is still an ongoing legal process to go through that could provide redemption. For instance, there have been rumors that there could be some medical justification for the substance being in Lesnar’s system, but nothing that has been proven or substantiated yet.
“It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed,” UFC said in a statement. “The Nevada State Athletic Commission also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed at UFC 200 in Las Vegas.“
While fans of any sport are quick to label someone a cheater for any test or affiliation with PEDs, Lesnar still has a process to go through, including getting his B-samples tested if he elects for it.
However, this instance might be the final straw for Lesnar’s MMA career. On Monday, Jones was issued a temporary suspension by the NSAC and with the organization having jurisdiction over Lesnar’s case, fans should expect a similar response.
Lesnar got his paycheck, a hefty $2.5 million—a portion of which his UFC 200 opponent Mark Hunt has demanded—and earned a win to erase the two-loss streak he previously left the UFC under. But Lesnar is retreating to the WWE which has seemingly washed their hands of the matter and indicated they have no intention of holding Lesnar accountable while their own superstar in Roman Reigns is suspended for violating their own “Wellness Policy.”
At 39 years old, a suspension could prevent Lesnar from ever stepping into the cage again.
The future for Lesnar is unclear, but the run at the heavyweight title that fans were hoping for appears to be on the shelf for now, an opportunity for the UFC to breathe life back into a division that is waning in interest amongst fans.