LAS VEGAS, December 30 – A vicious kick to the body by Alistair Overeem dropped Brock Lesnar to a knee nearly midway through the first round of their bout Friday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and a storm of Overeem right hands ended not only their UFC 141 main event tussle, but also Lesnar’s brief, but spectacular, UFC career.
“My hat’s off to Alistair Overeem,” Lesnar said immediately following the stoppage at 2:26 of round one. “I’ve had a really difficult couple of years with my disease (diverticulitis) and I’m going to officially say ‘Tonight was the last time you’ll see me in the Octagon.’”
The announcement caps an illustrious and improbable MMA career that saw the 265-pound former pro wrestling star skyrocket to the top of the heavyweight division, winning the UFC belt in just his fourth pro fight. Yet, leading up to tonight’s fight, Lesnar had not competed in over a year and had undergone surgery on his colon.
“I want to thank the Fertittas and Dana White. Brock Lesnar is officially retired. I promised my wife and kids that if I won tonight I would get a title shot and then retire. But if I lost tonight …”
Mid-sentence, an emotional Lesnar walked away from the microphone without finishing his thoughts.
In victory, Overeem, the former Strikeforce, Dream, and K-1 champion who was making his Octagon debut, improved to 36-11, 1 NC. The Dutch fighter’s unbeaten streak now spans 12 fights and he has earned himself a date with newly minted heavyweight kingpin Junior dos Santos.