Justin Barrasso reports in his latest “This Week in Wrestling” column for Sports Illustrated that Brock Lesnar is expected to drop the Universal Championship by SummerSlam.
“According to sources close to WWE, Lesnar is widely expected to drop the belt, at the latest, by SummerSlam. Because Lesnar’s new contract pays him by the fight, dropping the belt could signal the end of his time in WWE.
Dave Meltzer reported last week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE’s current plan for Lesnar’s next match is at SummerSlam on August 19 in Brooklyn, New York.
Meltzer was told that Lesnar is tentatively headlining SummerSlam but that is not locked in stone. There is no word yet on who his opponent will be.
Regarding a potential return to the UFC, the key is whether he applies to be put back in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) drug-testing pool by June 30. If he does not, then he’s likely staying with WWE for the foreseeable future. If he does, there is a better chance he would be leaving WWE and starting back in the UFC on the New Year’s weekend show.
“Of course, with both companies cash-rich, his timing of being about to be a free agent once again, while still holding the title, and the ability to play one side off the other is the best it has ever been,” Meltzer adds.
Lesnar’s issue on returning to the UFC stems from his one-year doping suspension in July 2016, which is frozen until he re-enters the pool. If he ever returns to the pool, via written notice to the UFC and USADA saying he is out of retirement, Lesnar would have five months remaining on his suspension.
On July 15, 2016, Lesnar was notified of a potential anti-doping policy violation by the USADA stemming from an undisclosed banned substance in an out-of-competition sample collected on June 28, 2016. On July 19, 2016, the UFC announced that a second sample was taken in-competition on July 9, 2016, tested positive for the same banned substance discovered in the previous out-of-competition sample. On August 23, 2016, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) confirmed that Lesnar twice tested positive for the estrogen blocker clomiphene and he was suspended.
On December 15, 2016, it was confirmed that Lesnar was fined $250,000 and suspended from competition for one year by the NSAC. He would have been eligible to return in July 2017. As a result of the suspension, the result of his fight with Mark Hunt on July 9, 2016, was overturned to a no contest.
On February 14, 2017, it was reported that Lesnar notified UFC he was retiring from mixed martial arts for the second time.