Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will be stepping back inside the Octagon on July 9th to co-headline UFC 200 against Mark Hunt. This, however, would be a mere one-off opportunity, as stipulated by his current employer, the WWE.
Many were surprised about the sudden turn of events, particularly since Lesnar holds a live contract with the WWE. But according to Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, no breach has been made since the WWE and UFC are two polarizing entities.
“Brock is a unique proposition, but just to get to the broader question: UFC is not a competitor to the WWE because we are entertainment and UFC is competitive sport,” McMahon said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s very different. WWE is all about protagonists and antagonists where ultimately our conflicts are settled in the ring with action that is akin to Hollywood.”
“It’s incredible stunt-like action and the match itself tells a story, but our audience is engaged in the characters and their storyline. It has to be relatable to them so that they care to see the tragedy or triumph and we’re at an advantage because we can script it.”
McMahon also further delved into the differences between both companies, revealing that while they do not fully support Lesnar’s fight, it still gives the WWE some free publicity that benefits them at the end of the day.
“UFC, they can make a big star but the second that person loses, they lose credibility, and how do you continue to make that star rise? So I think we have the best of both worlds and the opportunity to tell the stories in the way we want to tell them,” McMahon said.
“We are not supporting the fight necessarily but, again, it’s not a competitor to us and the more that our superstars, that’s how we refer to our talent, the more they do outside of WWE, the more awareness it generates and the broader the audience can be that is then brought back into our properties. So we recognize the value of that.”
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