Last night the UFC sent out of a press release stating only that UFC President Dana White would make a “major announcement” at 5 PM eastern time. Here are the highlights:
Dana White reveals that former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar has diverticulitis again. This is the same sickness that kept Lesnar out of action for nearly a year.
As a result, Shane Carwin will step in to fight Junior Dos Santos in the main event at UFC 131 in Vancouver, Canada.
Brock Lesnar is on the call, and he apologizes to Junior Dos Santos and Spike TV for the unfortunate situation. He says that diverticulitis is a disease that never goes away, but he hadn’t had any symptoms of it during the training camps for his fights against Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez.
Lesnar started feeling symptoms again sometime during filming for The Ultimate Fighter. He adds that it is not quite as serious as last time.
Brock notes that he is NOT retiring from fighting. He says he just has to find the right solution to fix this problem. “This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar, this is a speed bump in the road,” says Lesnar. “This is not the end of my career – far from it.”
Lesnar was having abdominal pain, and he wasn’t able to recover well from training.
Brock has the decision to either get surgery or deal with the disease through antibiotics and a strict diet; he has yet to make that decision. He still has to follow-up with his doctors before he makes a decision.
He says that he hasn’t been as good athletically as he used to be since his first bout with the illness. In the Carwin fight, he says he was about 85%.
Dana White says that Brock is being treated at the Mayo Clinic. Brock thanks Dana for how he has handled this situation.
Brock says that he has been “very dedicated” with his diet.
Brock doesn’t have enough information at this point to make the aforementioned decision to possibly have surgery.
About three weeks ago he started feeling symptoms, and the antibiotics meant to combat those symptoms didn’t help him. He says that the diverticulitis has kept him from training to his best ability, and with three weeks left before the fight he didn’t feel like he could be ready.
Brock hasn’t come across any other professional athletes with diverticulitis or a similar disease. He says he failed at managing the disease, despite thinking he was doing “all the right things.”
Brock: More than anything, I wanted to fight Junior Dos Santos, win that fight, and fight Cain Velasquez for the title.
Shane Carwin’s previously scheduled opponent for UFC 131, Jon Olav Einemo, does not have a new opponent at this time.
Brock doesn’t know how long surgery would keep him out of action. He does, however, note that it has a good success rate.
Lesnar reiterates that he does not think this will end his career.
Brock says there was no concern that fighting negatively affects his diverticulitis.
Dana White thanks everybody on the call. Brock thanks everyone for the support. That concludes the conference call.
— Brock Lesnar is out of his UFC 131 bout with Junior Dos Santos due to diverticulitis.
— Shane Carwin will now fight Junior Dos Santos in the main event on June 11.
— Brock does not believe his bout with diverticulitis is career threatening.
— Jon Olav Einemo, previously scheduled to fight Carwin at UFC 131, does not have a new opponent at this time.
UPDATE: Brock Lesnar spoke on being out of UFC 131 and insists this isn’t the end of his career. He says:
“I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not retiring. This isn’t the end of my fight career. This is something that I believe in my strong faith that there’s a solution to every problem. I just have to find the right solution to fix this problem. It didn’t allow me to train to my full capabilities. I was forced to make a decision to go back down to the doctor this week to figure out how far this thing was along. What it does is it drains my entire body down. Basically, you’ve got an infection in your stomach, and all my resources went to fight this problem instead of rebuilding what I tore down in the gym. It’s not as serious as last time. It just didn’t allow me to train for the way I needed to train for a No. 1 contenders’ bout.
I am forced with the decision to either have surgery or deal with this for the rest of my life. A lot of things go through your mind as an athlete, especially myself. This is something that has been wearing on me for about a month now. That’s what’s so frustrating about this. I’ve been doing all the right things, so I thought. That’s what’s very depressing about this, and I feel really, really angry about it. I wanted more than anything to fight Junior Dos Santos and to win that fight and to get a shot at Cain Velasquez. I want nothing more than that. But more importantly, my health and my family are more important. Let’s keep things in perspective.
I apologize to Junior Dos Santos and to Spike TV. This is an unfortunate situation for me. I dodged a bullet about two years ago with diverticulitis, at that time now knowing what the problem was, and dodged a bullet by not having the surgery. Diverticulitis is an illness that never goes away. It’s something that I’ve dealt with since my first occurrence and have been battling with it. It’s just something that’s in your colon for the rest of your life. I love this sport, and I love what I do. This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar.”