By Thomas Gerbasi | UFC.COM
After several weeks of tense speculation, UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar ended the waiting today, appearing on ESPN’s SportsCenter to let the world know that he’s returning to the Octagon after a serious bout with diverticulosis.
“Let’s make it clear,” said Lesnar with a smile. “I still am the UFC heavyweight champion.”
Road to Recovery
The 32-year old Lesnar fell ill in October, forcing him to withdraw from his November title defense against Shane Carwin.
“I was just feeling sick for the longest time,” said Lesnar. “My camp wasn’t going well. I missed almost three weeks, I kept going to the doctor and couldn’t find out what the problem was. Finally I said to my trainers, I can’t do this fight.”
Originally diagnosed with Mononucleosis, Lesnar went to Canada on a hunting trip, and his condition worsened.
“I had a lot of stomach pain. One night I woke up and I was in severe shock. I had a 104 degree fever and I felt like I was shot in the guts.”
Returning home, Lesnar was found to have a severe case of diverticulitis known as diverticulosis. Put on antibiotics and pain medication, Lesnar was able to avoid initial surgery as his body began to heal itself, but after 11 days in the hospital, he had lost 40 pounds.
"It's Just a Miracle"
After a visit to the Mayo Clinic where surgery to remove his colon was recommended, Lesnar still held out hope to avoid the procedure, and after returning to the gym and putting 30 pounds back on, a January 5th checkup revealed that the champion was back to full strength.
“They were dumbfounded,” he said. “They couldn’t find signs of anything wrong with my stomach. It’s just a miracle to me.
Another CT scan on his stomach on Tuesday verified these findings, and as far as continuing his fighting career, there is apparently nothing holding him back.
“I’ve had three or four different opinions and colonoscopies and CT scans,” he said. “There’s literally no sign of anything even existing in there.”
Next in the Octagon
“It’s been a crazy ride,” said UFC President Dana White. “Forget about the career side. He was looking at a different quality of life if he needed this surgery. Basically the doctors said he got a lottery ticket. It’s a miracle.”
And now he’s ready to resume life as UFC heavyweight champion. White pointed out that the UFC 111 bout in March between Carwin and Frank Mir will crown an interim champion who will then hopefully face Lesnar sometime in the summer.
In his most recent bout, at UFC 100 last July, Lesnar (4-1) avenged the lone loss of his pro mixed martial arts career, stopping Mir in the second round.