Brock Lesnar’s MMA career may be in the rearview mirror, but the former UFC champion and WWE superstar said his experiences of being in the octagon have helped him during his latter-day WWE career.
Lesnar is still very much on top of the wrestling world and is enjoying a new lease of life as a fan-favorite “good guy” in the squared circle.
And he was in relaxed, happy-go-lucky mood as he chatted on the Pat McAfee Show about a wide range of subjects that at times referenced his time as a UFC fighter.
Lesnar admitted that, despite walking out to packed crowds for his entire career, he still gets pre-event nerves before he makes his walk.
And he said that his experience in the octagon was on a different level to anything he’s experienced in the WWE in terms of pre-fight jitters.
“I still get butterflies. I still enjoy it. I enjoy the s**t out of it,” he said.
“It’s a different game entering the octagon and, I’m telling ya, you’ve gotta be half-bats**t crazy! You do!”
Lesnar said that he was well aware of the infamous “octagon jitters” that so many UFC debutants experience on their first appearance on MMA’s biggest stage, and he did his best to prepare for it ahead of his octagon debut against Frank Mir at UFC 81 back in February 2008.
But he also admitted that, despite that preparation, it still didn’t prevent the butterflies from kicking in once the cage door closed at the Mandalay Bay Events Center that night.
“I built, or had ordered, an octagon so I didn’t have the first jitters of getting in an octagon… so I could fight in it and practice in it,” he said.
“But then you’re in front of 20,000 people and then they shut the door and it’s like, ‘Aaaah, OK! Here we go!'”
Lesnar lost out to Mir that night via first-round kneebar, but eventually came back to win the UFC heavyweight title, then avenge that defeat in the rematch with Mir at UFC 100.
But now, back on the pro-wrestling grind once again, Lesnar revealed he struggles to stay up to date with current developments in the UFC due to the speed of the promotion and the sheer number of fighters in action.
“Yeah. I don’t watch a lot of fighting anymore, because there’s so many guys, it’s hard to follow,” he admitted.
“I wish Dana (White) could figure out how to book things different. Like, come on, man, let’s start getting behind some of these guys, and maybe protect somebody for a while so that they can become a household name and you can ‘cha-ching’ them.
“But he’s in the business of putting on superfights every week. It’s tough to do. And it’s tough to stay on top.”
Lesnar also spoke about comparisons between White and WWE figurehead Vince McMahon, and revealed he has very different relationships with the two men.
“Dana’s all right. I’ve got a lot of money from him. I probably should have got paid more, maybe,” he grinned.
“I really can’t compare the two guys. Honestly, my relationship with Vince is so different than it is with Dana over the years. Vince and I have had a love-hate relationship for the last 20 years, but it’s been good. We’ve got a lot of water under the bridge. I have a lot of respect for both men.
“But dealing with Dana, it’s just a totally different business approach. I met Vince when I was younger. I look at Vince more as a father figure actually, because I’ve learned a lot of things from him, and I was able to carry those things over and handle business with Dana. Vince is a self-made person, so is Dana. Took the company (UFC) and made it public.”