Brock Lesnar may have claimed the UFC Heavyweight title, but Dana White had no idea about his potential when he signed the former MMA star with a 1-0 record. In an interview with ESPN, White explained that his decision to ink Lesnar was on his ability to sell fights more than anything.
“I would be a liar if I said I didn’t bring Brock Lesnar in because I knew he would draw,” commented White.
“Obviously we looked at his wrestling background. The guy had an incredible college wrestling background but you know, we’ll give this guy a shot. It will be interesting. People will care. People will be interested about it.”
Lesnar would go on to earn a 4-3 record inside the Octagon, facing the division’s most dangerous talent in the likes of Cain Velasquez, Frank Mir and Alistair Overeem. In the end, some mix of age, defeats and a bout of diverticulitis led him to step away for the Octagon in favor of pro wrestling. Nevertheless, no one has been signed so early in their career and no one has climbed the rankings so fast as Lesnar.
Never gun-shy, White admits that despite Lesnar’s success, he made a pretty big gamble on the former WWE Champion.
“What he came in and accomplished makes me look like ‘oh this guy knew’. He was 1-0. Nobody gets into the UFC at 1-0,” said White.