Dana White Denies ESPN+ PPV Deal Blocked Brock Lesnar’s Return
By FCF Staff
Brock Lesnar will not challenge UFC heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier next as expected, but according to Dana White, it has nothing to do with the promotion’s new ESPN+ pay-per-view model.
After Cormier won the heavyweight title last summer, by taking out Stipe Miocic, the UFC announced that Lesnar would receive a title shot in his return. But, more recently White reported that Lesnar had decided not to return to the Octagon after all.
This has prompted speculation, and a report, that Lesnar’s decision was impacted by the new PPV model. But, while speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, White denied that was the case (quotes via MMA Mania).
“That’s not why Brock Lesnar didn’t fight,” White said. “Brock Lesnar got a better deal is basically what happened for Brock.”
“That’s absolutely false,” White said. “And if you really look when we were on pay-per-view, we were on traditional pay-per-view, everybody was talking about how the pay-per-view business was dying. It’s dying and nobody can pull numbers anymore.
“Really? We were still pulling five to seven 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.”
Cormier, meanwhile, is booked to rematch Miocic at UFC 241, August 17th. The card will take place in Anaheim, California.