UFC President Dana White announced this afternoon that former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is once again suffering from diverticulitis, and will not be able to face Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 in June as scheduled.
“He’s got some serious choices to make in the next couple of weeks whether to fight this thing or to take surgery,” said White on a media conference call earlier today.
dos Santos will now face Shane Carwin, who was originally slated to face UFC newcomer Jon Olav Einemo on the main card.
“I want to thank the UFC, I want to thank Mr. White and I want to apologize to Junior dos Santos and Spike TV,” said Lesnar (props to MMAFighting.com for the transcription). “This is an unfortunate situation for me. I dodged a bullet about two years ago with diverticulitis, at that time not knowing what the problem was. … Diverticulitis is something that never goes away. It’s something I’ve dealt with since the first occurrence and I’ve been battling it.”
Lesnar battled the disease in late 2009 and went on to resume his MMA career several months later in 2010. Lesnar noted that he had been feeling sick for the past three months and has been on antibiotics, but plans to once again continue fighting once he recovers. However, he will not be able to compete this June.
“It wouldn’t have been fair,” Lesnar said. “My health is No. 1, my family is No. 1 and it was a hard decision. I’m choked up about it and there’s nothing I can do.
“I love this sport and I love what I do… This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar.”
UFC 131 will take place on June 11, 2011 from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.