Sunday 22 January 2017

Brock Lesnar dedicates UFC 200 comeback victory to Dallas police shooting victims

Jack de Menezes

Published 10/07/2016 | 08:20

Brock Lesnar before his fight against Mark Hunt during the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Brock Lesnar before his fight against Mark Hunt during the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Brock Lesnar made a triumphant return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the early hours of Sunday morning as he defeated Australian heavyweight Mark Hunt by unanimous decision, but it proved to be a different Lesnar to the one who dominated MMA during his title reign.

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Lesnar looked tentative on his return to the UFC after a five-year hiatus, caused by serious health issues when he was diagnosed with the intestinal condition diverticulitis, resulting in 12 inches of his colon being removed.

Having been a keen trash talker and one to speak his mind during his first stint in the UFC, Lesnar cut a much calmer figure, displayed by his respect for Hunt in touching gloves at the start of each round and embracing him despite doing his best to split his head wide open with a barrage of thudding right hands late in the third round.

Yet it was his comments after the fight that proved to be the biggest sign of his change in attitude, as he took the opportunity of his in-ring interview with the UFC’s Joe Rogan to pay tribute to the five policeman shot in Dallas earlier in the week.

“It took me a little while to get out here,” Lesnar said after the victory. “Words can't describe this, thank you everybody, so much.

“[I’m taking it] One day at a time. Joe, I'm so happy. One thing I do want to do, America, a shout out for all the men that protect the country, from sea to sea, from one white boy to all nationalities, we've got to stick together.”

The harrowing scenes in Dallas on Thursday night saw four gunmen armed with sniper rifles and other firearms kill 11 police officers and injure six more in a choreographed attack during a Black Lives Matter” parade. The UFC held a moment’s silence before the start of UFC 200 in memory of those who died in the attack.

Independent News Service

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