Brock Lesnar went down hard against kickboxer Alistair Overeem in the first round at UFC 141 last night. A few minutes later, he announced his retirement.
The former heavyweight champion finished his own meteoric mixed martial arts career on a losing note at Friday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship event.
Lesnar retired from the UFC after Overeem stopped him with one vicious kick to the body at 2:26 of the first round in their much-touted heavyweight bout.
“Tonight is the last time you’ll see me in the octagon,” Lesnar said.
That leaves the UFC heading into 2012 without its biggest star.
Even though he fought only seven times in the UFC, Lesnar was a pay-per-view audience magnet because of his compelling past as a WWE “champion.”
He reigned as heavyweight champ, headlined UFC 100, generated the most Internet traffic of any MMA fighter and actually has fights left on his contract.
UFC President Dana White and Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta took the high road with Lesnar even after the fighter blew off the post-fight news conference.
White said, “When a guy decides he wants to retire, you let him do it. This is not, ‘Go hit a ball with a stick for the next two or three years on your way out.'”
“This is the real deal, guys. Â…We’ll figure it out.” He said regardless of how many fights Lesnar has on his contract, “Doesn’t matter. If he’s done, he’s done.”