ESPN's SportsCenter reported on Monday morning that Brock Lesnar (5-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC) vs. Mark Hunt (12-10-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) will be UFC 200's co-main event on July 9.
Lesnar's return to MMA was announced during last Saturday's UFC 199 event, but his opponent wasn't revealed then.
Lesnar, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current WWE superstar, will step into the octagon for the first time since December 30, 2011, when he ended his four-year run with the company. Lesnar, who won an NCAA Division I national wrestling championship in 2000 before his successful run in WWE, became UFC Heavyweight Champion against Randy Couture in 2008 and defended the title with wins over Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. Then, after losing against Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem and dealing with diverticulitis, Lesnar left the UFC and eventually returned to pro wrestling.
Brock Lesnar's last WWE fight was at Wrestlemania 32, when he defeated Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight. Lesnar is still under contract with the WWE, but the company said that this is a "one-off" opportunity and that he will fight in SummerSlam on August 21.
"...I'm a crossover athlete. I'm a modern-day Bo Jackson, people, and I'm excited about it. I'm enthusiastic. I couldn't be more excited and honored to have the opportunity that both companies have faith in Brock Lensar to allow him to step back into the Octagon," said Lesnar in an interview with Hannah Storm during SportsCenter.
UFC Odds for Lesnar vs. Hunt haven't been released yet but it will be interesting to see how sportsbooks view this fight. Hunt is coming off knockout wins over Antonio Silva and Frank Mir and he has six fight night bonuses in 12 career UFC fights. If the fight stands standing, Lesnar will be in trouble against Hunt, but if it goes to the ground, Lesnar has a great chance because Hunt's ground game is sloppy.
Is this really a "one-off" for Lesnar? Would he consider returning full-time if he beats Hunt? Lesnar said he isn't sure, that for now he is focused on competing at UFC 200 and at WWE SummerSlam.
UFC 200 will be headlined by the highly-anticipated fight between light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and interim champion Jon Jones. The event includes two more title fights, Miesha Tate defending her women's bantamweight championship against Amanda Nunes and Frankie Edgar taking on Jose Aldo for the interim featherweight title.