Bad news. Dana White just announced on a conference call that Brock Lesnar has been diagnosed with diverticulitis again, and thus, will not be able to compete against Junior dos Santos at UFC 131. The good news is Shane Carwin is going to step in for him so the main event isn’t completely lost.
Lesnar was also on the call and said the diverticulitis isn’t as bad as it was the last time, but it didn’t let him train at a level requisite for a number one contender’s bout. He’s back on antibiotics and is currently contemplating surgery so he won’t have to deal with it for the rest of his life. Brock stressed that this is not the end of his UFC career.
“I’m not retiring, this is not the end of my fight career… I just got to find the right solution to fix this problem… This is not the end of Brock Lesnar.”
Shane Carwin commented on the news on his blog:
Junior is a serious fight and not the type of fight that you would normally take on a 30 day notice but I have a dream to chase and I do not have a lot of time to chase it. This is an opportunity to put myself in contention for the title. I know my Coaches will have me ready so I have everything to gain.
My manager said “This is where you belong” and I am going to make sure I do everything I can to prove him right.
I hope Brock is able to recover. I look forward to facing him again one day.
I was actually on my way out the door for a three hour drive out of town when this announcement came about. I’ll update this post with more details when I get back in front of a computer later tonight.
Image via Heavy.com
“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 something that’s in your colon for the rest of your life. What it does is, it drains my entire body down. Basically, you’ve got an infection in your stomach and all my resources went toward fighting 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 the way I needed to train for a No. 1 contender’s bout … I only have three weeks to turn this thing around. We just didn’t feel like I could do that… I am forced with the decision to either have surgery, or to deal with this for the rest of my life. Obviously, I’m fighting a different fight here, other than having to give up the fight on June 11.”
“It’s a matter of removing some of my colon and reattaching it, and I can’t foresee that being a career-threatening ordeal. At least, I hope not. I’ll tell you one thing: I’m not retiring. This isn’t the end of my fighting career… I believe there’s a solution to every problem. I just gotta find the right solution to fix this problem. This isn’t the end of Brock Lesnar. This is a speed bump in the road. I’ve hit a lot of speed bumps in my career and this is one of them.”
Brock is currently awaiting various test results before he makes his decision about surgery. At this point, the timetable for his return is unknown.
In the meantime, Shane Carwin will step up and face Junior dos Santos on June 11, which Carwin’s manager claims will result in a heavyweight title shot against Cain Velasquez for the winner. Surprisingly, the betting lines opened with JDS as a significant favorite over Carwin (-260 JDS +200 Carwin).
It’s currently unknown what will happen with Carwin’s previously scheduled opponent, Jon Olav Einemo. Apparently, the UFC had gotten around to notifying him of the change before they made the announcement today because his manager, Martin De Jong, was completely unaware of the situation when contacted by MMA Junkie. When asked if a replacement had been selected for Einemo, Dana White said “not yet.”
I’m not gonna lie, it’s starting to feel like the end of 2009 all over again. Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones, Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Jon Fitch, BJ Penn and I’m sure a few more I’m not thinking of have all dropped out with injuries/illnesses recently.
Audio of the conference call courtesy of Steve Cofield:
Update: Jon Olav Einemo will now face Dave Herman at UFC 131.