After seven fights in the UFC, Brock Lesnar officially announced his retirement after his UFC 141 loss to Alistair Overeem on New Year’s Eve 2011 (aus time).
In a career that saw him win the UFC Heavyweight Championship in his third UFC fight and subsequently defend it twice, Brock battled some of the top mixed martial arts heavyweights in the world with notable victories against Randy Couture, Frank Mir and Shane Carwin.
However, losses to Cain Velasquez and Overeem along with a serious battle with illness saw retirement contemplation enter the equation.
“My hat’s off to Alistair Overeem,” Lesnar told Joe Rogan after the fight. “I want to take my hat off to all my training partners, my wife, my family. I’ve had a really difficult couple years with my disease, and I’m going to officially say tonight is the last time you’ll see me in the Octagon.”
“I want to thank everybody,” Lesnar said. “(UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo) Fertittas, (UFC president) Dana White. I’m officially retired. I promised my wife and kids if I won this fight, I’d make one last shot at the title and then retire. But … Alistair, it was a pleasure.”
The announcement came as a shock to many, including UFC president Dana White.
“I had no idea he was going to do that,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “Am I surprised? No. Brock Lesnar has made a lot of money in his career and achieved a lot of things. Brock lesnar pulled me aside one night here at MGM and said he wanted to fight in the UFC, and I laughed – he had one fight. What he accomplished in such a short amount of time is amazing. It shocked me.“