Brock Lesnar signs a new WWE deal and retires from MMA – Watch

Brock Lesnar signs a new WWE deal and retires from MMA - Watch

Brock Lesnar, the professional wrestler who elevated mainstream interest in the UFC, has opted against a return to mixed-martial arts (MMA).

The 37-year-old made the announcement Tuesday on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

“I’m officially closing the door on MMA,” Lesnar said on the program. “It was hard. I re-signed last night with the WWE.”

Lesnar, whose WWE contract was to expire at the end of the month, will appear at WrestleMania 31 this weekend in Santa Clara, Calif.

“It was a very hard decision at this stage of my career,” Lesnar said. “The fighter inside me wants to compete. The father and husband — I’m an older caveman now. I make wiser caveman decisions. So, I’m here to say my legacy in the Octagon is over.

“It was a hard decision to make. It took me a year. I’ve thought about this for a year. At the end of the day, it’s all about me wanting to have fun. The last two-and-a-half months I’ve been training to get back into the Octagon. I felt physically great, but something lacked mentally — and that’s not good.”

Lesnar, who began his MMA career in June 2007, made his UFC debut with a loss to Frank Mir a year later at UFC 81. He then beat Heath Herring before beating Randy Couture in November 2008 to capture the belt.

A successful title defence against Mir was followed by a year off battling an intestinal disorder. He returned in July 2010, losing two of his next three fights. His last UFC appearance was in 2011, a first-round knockout loss to Alistair Overeem.