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Lesnar makes UFC return, battles Hunt at UFC 200

Brock Lesnar last saw action at WWE Wrestlemania 32. WWE (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Brock Lesnar will take some time off at the squared circle and go back to the octagon as he announced his return to the UFC.

Lesnar made the MMA comeback official on ESPN on Monday night (Philippine Time). Curiously, it was also in the said sports channel where "The Beast Incarnate" reiterated his first retirement from MMA and announced that he will return to the WWE, where his pro combat sports career began.

“The true competitor in me is still alive and well, and I had to do this,” said the former UFC and WWE champ.

Lesnar announced his MMA retirement following his loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 on Dec. 31, 2011 (Philippine Time), but he thought it did more bad to him than good.

“It was a hard decision to make, and that decision has haunted me. I couldn’t live with that decision for the rest of my life. I’m a big believer in living out your dreams and facing your fears," he continued.

Lesnar will face fellow MMA veteran Mark Hunt, currently ranked eighth among heavyweight contenders, at UFC 200 on July 10 (Philippine Time).

“It could be anybody. I didn’t care. That’s how simple it is. I’ve never turned down a fight in the UFC. I think I match up very well [with Hunt],” he further said.

He last made a combat sports fight at Wrestlemania 32 on April 4 (Philippine Time), beating Jonathan Good, better known as Dean Ambrose.

Lesnar is booked for an appearance at WWE Summerslam on August 22 (Philippine Time), but the WWE gave him the go-signal to make the UFC comeback.

Brock's return "spoiled", nearly leads to reporter's ban

SB Nation's Ariel Helwani first broke the news of Lesnar's return on Sunday (Philippine Time), just before UFC officially announced it during UFC 199.

UFC president Dana White did not like how the renowned MMA beat writer "spoiled" the announcement that he decided to ban him and his crew from covering the event that saw Michael Bisping taking the UFC middleweight title from Luke Rockhold via TKO.

White eventually retracted and gave Helwani another opportunity to cover UFC events.

"Following a conversation with the editorial team at SB Nation, UFC will not prevent MMAFighting.com  (SB Nation's MMA page) from receiving media credentials to cover live UFC events. We respect the role the media plays in our sport and beyond, including MMAFighting’s ability to report news," the UFC said in a statement on Monday.

However, the promotion insisted, "In our opinion, we believe the recurring tactics used by its lead reporter extended beyond the purpose of journalism."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno