The Untold Truth Of Brock Lesnar

The Big Show, Hulk Hogan, Triple H, Goldberg — the WWE has seen many big men hit the canvas in the last 30 years. But few if any of them have matched the animalistic power of Brock Lesnar, whose career in the ring and the octagon is nearing its 20th year.

During his debut on Monday Night Raw in March 2002, Lesnar made a fierce impression smashing an opponent through a trashcan and performing his signature F5 move on another hapless victim. With his robust background in college wrestling, Lesnar the "Next Big Thing" was essentially a savage version of Kurt Angle, and the fans loved him.

Known as the "Beast Incarnate," Lesnar became the youngest heavyweight WWE champion in history and one of the most enduring wrestlers of the last 20 years (via WWE). Then, in the late 2000s, Lesnar distinguished himself from the WWE roster by pummeling his way to the UFC heavyweight championship, becoming one of the best-known and best-paid fighting men in the world. Here is the untold truth of Brock Lesnar. 

Brock Lesnar was born in South Dakota and loves solitude

Brock Lesnar was born on July 12, 1977, in Webster, South Dakota (via The Next Big Thing: The Brock Lesnar Story). He grew up on a dairy farm and undertook plenty of manual labor, which developed both his body and his work ethic. Despite performing to vast crowds across the United States, Lesnar remains a country boy at heart. Until 2014, Lesnar lived with his family on a 43-acre estate in Minnesota, which he sold for $750,000, according to the Los Angeles Times

Lesnar left the rural estate for even greater solitude in Saskatchewan, Canada. CBC reported that Lesnar lives in the small town of Maryfield, which is a few miles from the Manitoba border (via Tourism Saskatchewan). It cannot be overstated how much Lesnar values his privacy. In fact, it is rumored that he can only be reached by a telephone booth several miles from his house (via The Next Big Thing: The Brock Lesnar Story). 

Lesnar has been upfront about his anti-social tendencies. On the "Stone Cold" podcast, Brock Lesnar told Steve Austin, "I really don't like people... I'm sorry, I don't... that's just who I am." Lesnar noted the irony of how he performs to thousands of people but explained that he "felt alright with it because I feel like I'm in this dome." 

He was an accomplished collegiate wrestler when the WWE discovered him

Brock Lesnar wrestled in college for the University of Minnesota, and he was really good. He had a win/loss record of 106–5, which caught the eye of a WWE talent scout Gerald Brisco (via The Next Big Thing: The Brock Lesnar Story). According to EWrestling, Brisco recalled, "I saw Brock when he was a junior in college, and he lost in the national championship, but he was still a beast... I got a mental picture of him there of what could transpire."

About a year later, after winning the NCAA championship, Brisco arranged a meeting between Lesnar and Vince McMahon. Brisco said, "Vince stopped dead in his tracks and made a 180 and came over, sticking out his hand. Vince said, 'I understand you won a national championship.' Brock said, 'Yes sir, I did.' Vince said, 'You ready to be an entertainer?' Brock gave him the most perfect answer I've ever heard you can give the boss in his life and Brock turned and said, 'Yes sir. I always wanted to be an entertainer" (via Wrestling News).

Brock Lesnar's workouts are fierce

In his early career, Brock Lesnar's workouts were tough and uncomplicated. As he explained, "I've always trained in holes-in-the-wall gyms and that's how I like it, it wasn't easy for me to get to town, so I just had to use my imagination." Instead of expensive equipment, Lesnar would use a 180 lb. log to mimic another wrestler. Other old-school exercises included heavy bag work, chair push-ups, and a routine called "the drill," which developed his core and made him stronger on the map. He would recuperate with ice baths.

During the height of Lesnar's UFC career, Muscle & Strength broke down the fighter's new workout plan. Before his extensive weight regimen, Lesnar would practice wrestling for 10 minutes, striking for 25 minutes, and then five rounds of circuit training, which included everything from spiderman pushups, wide grip pull-ups, and sledgehammer strikes. 

After that, Lesnar would move to the weight room. His lifting plan was spread across four days and muscle groups — chest and triceps, back and biceps, shoulders, and legs.

Brock Lesnar's max bench press is over 600 lbs.

Speaking with Tapout, Kurt Angle said that he has seen Brock Lesnar bench press over 600 lbs. This puts Lesnar at the top of the WWE pack, beating wrestlers such as Roman Reigns (445 lbs.), John Cena (465 lbs.), Kane (525 lbs.), Big Show (500 lbs.), and even Big E (575 lbs.), whom the Big Show described as the most impressive lifter he's ever seen.

According to Bodybuilding, Lesnar's max bench is heavier than seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose personal best for bench press was a respectable 500 lbs. However, it is about 282 lbs. lighter than the current "raw" bench press achieved by Julius Maddox, who shifted an incredible 782 lbs. (via Men's Health). 

A "raw" bench press is a bench press that's achieved with no supportive equipment such as a bench shirt, which allows lifters to tackle even more weight plates. The current equipped bench press record is held by Jimmy Kolb, who lifted 1,120 pounds on June 27, 2021 (via Barbend). Brock Lesnar may not have pushed his bench press to the very limits, but his 600 lb. personal best remains an awesome display of strength.

Brock Lesnar is the first man to hold championships in the WWE, UFC, and NCAA

ESPN staff wrote that Brock Lesnar has had, "far and away the most successful crossover between the WWE and MMA." He is the only fighter to hold titles with the WWE and UFC. Before that, he also won the Division I All-American twice and became the Division I national champion in 2000.

Lesnar joins a special group of wrestlers who have excelled in other disciplines, such as WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics games in Atlanta (via Olympics). Also, before his careers in the ring and the movie business, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson won a national football championship with the Miami Hurricanes, according to Muscle & Fitness

Another example is Mark Henry, the "World's Strongest Man." Before his WWE debut in 1996, Henry was an accomplished powerlifter, competing in two Olympic games and holding records in World Drug-Free Powerlifting Federation (deadlift, squat, and total) and USA Powerlifting (deadlift). He also won the USA Powerlifting championship in 1995 and 1997.

Brock Lesnar is a keen hunter

In 2015, Brock Lesnar shot a large whitetail deer he named "King Kong" (via Keith Warren Hunting). Four years prior, the wrestler appeared at the 2011 NRA Annual Meeting, where he met with fans, signed autographs, and posed for photos. Lesnar said, "The National Rifle Association is something that stands up for Americans that wish to bear arms, and I'm one of them... what got me into hunting and shooting was just being able to go outdoors... as a young kid growing up in South Dakota it's kind of a way of life to have a gun and a truck."

Lesnar is so fond of hunting that it has made its way into his WWE persona. In an episode of SmackDown, Lesnar said, "I live in Saskatchewan, I hunt things in Saskatchewan, I kill things in Saskatchewan, I eat things in Saskatchewan."

But in 2011, Lesnar was fined and suspended from hunting. According to the Globe and Mail, Lesnar admitted to improper tagging of an animal during a hunting trip in 2010. Lesnar was also charged with leaving meat to rot and illegal possession of wildlife, but these charges were dropped. The case was concluded with a $1,725 fine and a six-month hunting suspension.

Lesnar is a Republican

According to the Star Tribune, Lesnar described himself as "a conservative Republican." He joins many other wrestlers in this respect. Kane, for example, whose real name is Glenn Jacobs, ran as a Republican for Mayor of Knox County, which he won in 2018 (via BBC). After winning the mayorship, the 7-ft. behemoth said, "Democracy works when everyone has a voice and we can hear everyone's ideas" (via Knoxville News Sentinel). 

According to SportsKeeda, other Republicans include Chris Jericho, the Undertaker, and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who is a good friend and supporter of Donald Trump. While in office, Trump appointed McMahon's wife Linda as the 25th Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (via SBA). 

This relationship between wrestling and conservatism was recognized by Wall Street Journal writer Michael Taube, who wrote an article titled "Pro Wrestlers are Natural Republicans," adding that wrestling is "one of the most free-market-oriented industries anywhere."

Brock Lesnar broke Hardcore Holly's neck

According to Essentially Sports, Hardcore Holly explained how Brock Lesnar broke his neck with a botched move: "He went to pick me up to powerbomb me and I tried to come up. I tried to grab his head and I couldn't quite reach it. And we ended up going back down and he tried to hold me and that was it."

Lesnar was distraught by the accident. Holly said how the Beast Incarnate called him at the hospital and apologized profusely. Despite the clear danger involved with wrestling Lesnar, Holly isn't scared, "Brock is Brock and I'm who I am. If Brock whipped my ass, more power to him, but I'm still going to wrestle him the same way I wrestle everybody else." 

Holly's neck injury certainly wasn't the first in WWE history. In 1997, Owen Hart performed a piledriver on Stone Cold Steve Austin that compacted his vertebrae (via SportsKeeda). In the original broadcast, you can see the shock in Hart's face when he realizes the move went awry. Tragically, Owen Hart died two years later when he fell 50 feet during a faulty stunt in a St. Louis arena (via Sports Illustrated).

After leaving the WWE, Brock Lesnar played football and wrestled in Japan

After two intense years with WWE, Brock Lesnar was burned out from the tireless road schedule. According to commentator Jim Ross, "He was burned out and getting bad advice from some of his peers, I believe... he had this dream of playing in the NFL and apparently had that dream for many, many years." In 2004, Lesnar signed with the Minnesota Vikings, but injuries cut his brief NFL career short (via The Next Big Thing: The Brock Lesnar Story). Instead, Lesnar wrestled for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on October 8, 2005. 

Shortly before that, in February 2005, Lesnar had taken legal action against WWE with regards to his non-competition agreement, which Lesnar's lawyers argued was unenforceable. On April 24, 2006, WWE stated that the company was "very pleased with the outcome of the litigation," adding that the agreement "appropriately protects WWE's substantial investment in Brock Lesnar's wrestling character."

After marrying Sable in May 2006, Lesnar continued his spell in Japanese wrestling before moving onto a new venture, mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Brock Lesnar made a big debut in the UFC

Brock Lesnar's debut in the UFC octagon was just as explosive as his time at WWE. He knocked former champion Frank Mir to the canvas before grounding and pounding the former champion, yet when Mir managed to get Lesnar in a kneebar, it was all over. Lesnar would avenge this loss in 2009. 

After a unanimous decision victory over Heath Herring, Lesnar earned a shot at the heavyweight championship, which was held by Randy Couture. The fight was everything a Brock Lesnar fan had dreamed of. After a takedown and heavy grappling, Lesnar landed a right hand on Couture's head, sending him down. Lesnar pounced and pummeled him until the referee intervened. 

Lesnar held the championship for two years, defending the title twice before his dramatic loss to Cain Velasquez. ESPN would describe Lesnar as, "arguably the first man in the division's history to combine sheer brawn with incredible athleticism." As successful as Lesnar's transfer to the UFC may have been, some wondered what could have been. On his podcast, Joe Rogan said, "I swear that if Brock Lesnar got into mixed martial arts right out of college and went right into training... I think he could have been one of the all-time greats." 

Brock Lesnar suffered from diverticulitis

Part of Brock Lesnar's loss to Cain Velasquez was because of a serious case of diverticulitis (via The Next Big Thing: The Brock Lesnar Story and the Bleacher Report). According to WebMD, diverticulitis is the infection or inflammation of pouches in your intestines.

Lesnar recalled how desperate his situation was with the Star Tribune, "My wife saved my life. She drove 100 miles an hour to get me down to Bismarck, North Dakota to MedCenter One... I was in excruciating pain. That's when I made the phone call to [UFC President Dana White] cussing him out and telling him to send a jet for me." Lesnar spent 11 days at Med Center One, where Dr. Brent Bruderer drained 14 cubic centimeters of fluid from pouches in his intestines. Lesnar would later say that Dr. Bruderer, "Saved my career and saved my life."

The diverticulitis was caused by a "total protein diet" that was lacking in fiber, "Basically, I was just for years surviving on meat and potatoes. When the greens came by, I just kept passing them." Since then, Lesnar has adjusted his diet and makes use of "natural healing medicine."

Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE with a very good deal

Despite the non-competition litigation, Brock Lesnar managed to negotiate a great deal with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, signing a one-year, three-match deal that was rumored to be worth $5 million (via Cageside Seats). Generous contract renewals followed, with Lesnar reportedly saying, "I work part-time with full-time pay, which everybody wants" (via Digital Spy). 

Lesnar's comeback has seen huge pay-per-view matches with John Cena, Triple H, and The Undertaker, whose legendary winning streak at WrestleMania was broken by Lesnar in 2014. Bleacher Report's Mike Chiari wrote, "Taker vs. Lesnar lived up to the hype in a big way prior to the result, and the shocking finish left the Superdome stunned."

In April 2020, Forbes reported that Lesnar was the WWE's highest-paid star, earning some $10 million. According to Give Me Sport, this lucrative run was bolstered yet again when Lesnar signed a new 18-month contract in September 2021, which will comprise 8-12 matches.