Less than 24 hours after defending the universal championship against Roman Reigns in a surprise finish to the main event of WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans, title holder Brock Lesnar has formally re-signed with WWE. The length and specifics of Lesnar's new deal were not released by WWE as part of its announcement.
Lesnar, who has held the title for a full year after beating Goldberg for it at WrestleMania 33, will defend the championship against Reigns once again -- this time inside a steel cage in the main event of the Greatest Royal Rumble, a special event set to be held at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday, April 27 at noon ET.
WWE claims this will be Lesnar's next appearance, meaning he is not expected to appear this Monday night on Raw or at any shows before the big event. The Greatest Royal Rumble is set to stream live on WWE Network.
Lesnar signing a new deal with WWE makes it look as if he has spurned interest from UFC that would have seen him return to the Octagon. In theory, Lesnar could still have clauses that allow him to fight in UFC either as part of his WWE contract or via special allowance by chairman Vince McMahon. Lesnar competed in the main event of UFC 200 after requesting as much from McMahon, who granted him the one-off opportunity and payday.
UFC president Dana White said in October 2017 that he did not expect WWE to allow such crossover fights in the future. However, White said just last week during an appearance on "UFC Tonight" that Lesnar is "definitely" returning to the Octagon. "Yeah, Brock Lesnar's coming back," he said. "I don't know when, but yes, he is."
WWE has spent the better part of a month playing up the idea of Lesnar splitting from the company for UFC. That combined with White's seeming confidence that Lesnar would rejoin the company makes one believe that both McMahon and White may have been spinning a long-term storyline in hopes of swerving WWE fans.
Where Lesnar truly stands with UFC -- and both the U.S. Anti-Doping Association and Nevada State Athletic Commission -- remains to be seen. For now, all we know is that he plans to continue his career in WWE. How long he will be there -- or in what manner that career will unfold -- is anyone's guess.