UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is ready to make his return to the Octagon.
The 33-year old Minnesotan, who has been sidelined since the fall with diverticulitis, is slated to face the winner of the Frank Mir-Shane Carwin match at UFC 113 in Newark, N.J. on March 27. No date has been set for Lesnar’s return, but speaking on ESPN on Wednesday morning, UFC president Dana White said that Lesnar’s return will take place over the summer.
“The winner of that fight [Mir-Carwim] will be the interim champion and will face Brock Lesnar this summer,” White said. “We’re hoping Carwin or Mir wins the fight and will face Brock, champion vs. champion.”
Lesnar successfully defended his UFC title against Mir on July 11 at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, the biggest event in North American MMA history, and was slated to meet the undefeated Carwin on Nov. 21. But Lesnar fell ill in training for the fight and had to pull out of the date.
The former NCAA heavyweight wrestling champ and pro wrestling star was originally diagnosed with mononucleosis. But after a series of complications, he finally diagnosed with a severe case of diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder, at a hospital in Bismarck, N.D., and had the diagnosis confirmed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Lesnar was told he’d need surgery to remove his colon, which would have kept him on the sidelines a minimum of 18 months and could have ended his career.
“I prepared for surgery and started to heal myself,” said Lesnar. “I was in the hospital for 11 days, no food, no water, fed intravenously, lost 40 pounds.”
Since the January diagnosis, Lesnar opted against the surgery, regained 30 pounds, and claims he is symptom-free.
“It was a miracle,” said Lesnar. “[The doctors] were dumbfounded. They couldn’t find any signs of any problem in my stomach. It’s a miracle to me.”
If the winner of Mir-Carwin is unable to return to action in a reasonable amount of time, Lesnar will instead defend his title against the winner of a Feb. 21 match in Sydney, Australia, between top contenders Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez.
“It’s been a crazy ride,” said White. “Forget about the career side, this guy was looking at a different quality of life if he would have needed the surgery. The doctor said, this is unbelievable, you got a lottery ticket, you don’t need the surgery.’”