Prior to Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 1, one man was looming over the blockbuster main event of UFC 226, that being former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. But what was framed initially as a “possibility” would later morph into a formality after Daniel Cormier defeated Miocic and came face to face with Lesnar inside the Octagon following the victory, at which point Lesnar would shove Cormier and challenge him to a fight. From that moment on, Daniel Cormier was all in, Brock Lesnar resumed getting drug tested by USADA, and the only question revolved around when the fight would finally take place.
Suddenly, Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic 2 was announced last month, with the Cormier/Lesnar fight having fell through. It was reported by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason for the breakdown in negotiations was due to Brock Lesnar wanting a flat fee for a UFC 241 fight against Daniel Cormier on pay per view due to the new ESPN+ pay per view model. Speaking with ESPN Thursday evening, Dana White directly denied these reports:
“Completely not true,” White said of the report. “That’s absolutely false. And if you really look at when we were on pay per view, when we were on ‘traditional pay per view,’ everybody was talking about how the pay per view business is dying. It’s dying, and nobody can pull numbers anymore. Really? Eh, we were still pulling $5 million to $7 million pay per view buys a year when we were on the ‘dying traditional pay per view.’ You can’t listen to any of this noise. That’s not why Brock Lesnar didn’t fight. Brock Lesnar got a better deal is basically what happened for Brock.”
Do you believe Dana White’s version of why Brock Lesnar did not return to fight Daniel Cormier for the heavyweight championship?