UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier spoke with ESPN's Marc Raimondi earlier today and issued his first comments on Brock Lesnar's retirement from MMA.
UFC had been planning a Lesnar vs. Cormier title fight at one point, rumored for this summer, but things never worked out and Lesnar retired last month. Cormier said he believes the decision to retire from the Octagon came down to money.
"I'm sure Brock couldn't come to terms with the UFC, in terms of financial offer," Cormier said. "There's a lot of uncertainty in the world of mixed martial arts right now in terms of pay-per-view. It's not as straight forward as when Brock was there. I think when Brock looked at the landscape of the sport, what they were offering him, Brock said, 'I can make guaranteed money [in WWE].' Not work as hard. He'd have to work his ass off [to fight me] and it's probably gonna go the bad way. Whereas with the WWE, it's usually determined in his favor. So, as a businessman, I think Brock made the right decision.
"Then it works, right? Everybody is talking like, 'Oh, Vince McMahon keeps putting the belt on Brock' or keeps doing this with Brock. Brock was on the pay-per-view and then Brock was on Monday night and the ratings increased. ... There's a method to the old man's madness. He just continues to kind of rely on Brock and Brock has shown to be a commodity that keeps working for him."
Paul Heyman did WWE media appearances earlier this week and confirmed that Lesnar really has retired from UFC. Heyman indicated that the retirement will mean more WWE appearances for Lesnar, but not necessarily more matches.