Illness forces former UFC champ, Brock Lesnar, out of fight

May 13, 2011 6:55 AM

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has had a reoccurrence of diverticulitis and has been forced to withdraw from his June 11 fight against Junior dos Santos in Vancouver.

Lesnar, 33, said he is not planning to retire and is considering his treatment options. Lesnar said during a hastily arranged conference call Thursday that he spent 14 hours undergoing tests and meeting with doctors Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Surgery is an option, but Lesnar said he is still in the middle of accumulating information.

UFC president Dana White said Shane Carwin will replace Lesnar and will face dos Santos in a No. 1 contender’s match in the main event of UFC 131. Carwin has been training to fight Jon Olav Einemo.

In 2009, Lesnar had to withdraw from a heavyweight title defense against Shane Carwin at UFC 106, though he was able to return to fight Carwin at UFC 116 on July 3, 2010. Lesnar submitted Carwin in the second round but lost his title to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 on Oct. 23.

Lesnar was training for the dos Santos fight after appearing with him on Spike TV’s reality show "The Ultimate Fighter," but said he hasn’t been able to train the way he needs to in order to be ready for June 11.

"I dodged a bullet about two years ago with diverticulitis, at that time not knowing what the problem was," Lesnar said. "I dodged the bullet by not having the surgery. Diverticulitis is an illness that never goes away. It’s something I’ve dealt with since my first occurrence, and I’ve been battling with it. It’s something that’s in your colon for the rest of your life, and I’ve been able to maintain it to a point where it’s tolerable.

"I was able to go through two training camps – Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez – and made it through those camps without having a bout or any symptoms."

Diverticulitis is a condition of the colon that occurs when pouches form on the colon and become inflamed. The only way to treat them is with antibiotics, or they can be removed by excising a part of the colon. Lesnar said he’s been battling symptoms for the past three months but still hasn’t determined whether or not to have surgery.