Brock Lesnar through-the-ages from angelic kid, to high-school wrestling champ and hulking WWE legend – The Sun
BROCK LESNAR completed a remarkable journey from weedy high-school kid to a hulkling WWE legend.
Lesnar was born in South Dakota and grew up on his parents' farm in Webster, where he would work out from a young age using anything he could find.
After beginning to bulk up during his school days, Lesnar started playing football and competing as an amateur wrestler.
He won junior grappling honours before going on to become an NCAA Heavyweight champion in 2000.
Lesnar caught the eye of WWE boss Vince McMahon, who signed the brute powerhouse and sent him to their developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).
There he would meet his future friend and on-screen manager Paul Heyman, as well as working with Batista.
Lesnar was soon called up to the WWE's main roster in 2002 and within his first year he became champion with a win over iconic superstar The Rock.
By this time the American was weighing 21st and devastating opponents with his strength and technical wrestling ability.
After championship feuds with Kurt Angle and Goldberg, Lesnar decided to walk out on the WWE and pursue an NFL career.
He signed for the Minnesota Vikings in July 2004 and played in several pre-season games but a motorbike injury earlier in the year affected his performances, leading to his release in the August.
For two years Lesnar would wrestle in Japan before making another career switch as announced a move into MMA, winning his first fight against Min-Soo Kim in 2007.
After lobbying for the chance to fight in MMA's elite promotion, the UFC, Lesnar was signed by Dana White but immediately matched up against former champ Frank Mir.
Lesnar stripped down to the promotion's 265lb heavyweight limit, and despite a good start against Mir he was submitted in the first round.
His wrestling ability was on show and the WWE star beat Heath Herring his next fight, which earned him a shot at the title against legend Randy Couture.
Lesnar, a huge PPV draw, won the belt by KO and went on to win his following two defences, against Mir and Shane Carwin, before losing the strap to Cain Velasquez in 2010.
After a follow up defeat to Alistair Overeem, Lesnar announced his UFC retirement, citing struggles with diverticulitis, a digestive condition the affects the bowel.
Lesnar made a swift WWE return by 2012 and appeared to be bigger than ever, despite only weighing 20st 4lb, and soon established himself as one of the promotion's leading stars again.
He went on to have rivalries with John Cena, Triple H and Undertaker – even breaking the Deadman's legendary WrestleMania streak.
But in 2016, Lesnar made a stunning one-time comeback to the UFC, to fill in on late notice at their 200th PPV, as it was announced he would face Mark Hunt.
The Beast whipped himself into fighting shape and looked shredded on the scales, going on to win over three rounds.
But his sixth career victory was marred in controversy, as it later emerged Lesnar had failed a pre-fight drug test for the banned substance clomiphene, an estrogen blocker.
The win was reversed to a no-contest and Lesnar was handed a suspension – though he returned to the WWE just a month later to compete at SummerSlam.
Despite the doping violation his WWE career was unaffected and he reigned as the Universal Champion for a whole year before dropping the belt to Roman Reigns in 2018.
In summer 2018, rumours Lesnar was planning another UFC run emerged, and in July he confronted heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, with White planning for the pair to fight.
United States Anti Doping Agency confirmed Lesnar had started the process to get back into their testing pool, only for White to confirm the PPV star was putting the breaks on a return.
Lesnar instead stayed loyal to the WWE, and was rewarded with a dominant two-year run which saw him twice win the Universal title and a WWE belt.
He lost his title this year at Mania 36 to Drew McIntyre, and for the first time the American faced criticism for his physique, appearing to have gained fat.
The 42-year-old has not wrestled since, enjoying the luxuries of his part-time contract with the WWE.
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