The advocate for Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, recently sat down with ESPN to promote his client’s upcoming fight at UFC 200. They discussed a number of topics, including the fight itself, Lesnar’s time in and relationship with WWE, which NXT superstars should make their way to the main roster, Roman Reigns, and more.

Below are some highlights from the interview:

As a longtime friend of Lesnar’s, what was your reaction to him announcing a return to the UFC?

It’s what Brock wants to do. Whatever sports entertainment is behind the scenes is irrelevant — you have to be able to deliver inside the ring. What propels Brock Lesnar to deliver like he does is the fact that he’s truly a competitor. Even though it’s sports entertainment, Brock is competing with everyone else that’s out there so that when the show is over people say, “Wow, did you see Brock Lesnar’s performance?” It’s the same thing. He’s a competitor and the moment he announced his retirement from mixed martial arts [in December 2011], I think he regretted the fact that he missed a chance to compete at perfect health. It’s the one decision in his life he ever was second-guessing and therefore, for his own mindset, I think this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to him because he gets to go back and do something at an age when so few do it. He truly needs in his heart of hearts to do it because competition is in his blood and he wasn’t ready to walk away from that yet.

With just a month and a half between UFC 200 and SummerSlam, how might the result of the UFC fight — win or lose — affect Lesnar’s booking in WWE moving forward?

I think every day, anything that you do can change the course and affect forward movement in sports, let alone WWE. I understand what you’re asking me, but I think in terms of an overall picture, when you are at Brock’s level of being a box office attraction, everything affects what you’re going to be doing at the next appearance. And the same thing goes for John Cena and Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, just like the same thing goes for Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor and Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. So, the result of this fight, how will it affect SummerSlam? Hopefully it will make Brock Lesnar an even bigger star on a global basis and drive a whole bunch of fans back to WWE for Aug. 21.

Which NXT talent do you believe is destined for big things on the main roster?

I think Balor is ready to be a main event superstar. I think Samoa Joe has always been a main event superstar. That NXT roster is filled with A-listers who are ready to move up and make a significant impact on both Raw and SmackDown. You seriously take a look and you realize how well positioned WWE is for this draft because there is so much talent in NXT. To go even further, NXT is practically guaranteed to lose not only its top tier, but particularly its top 1-A tier in this draft (or six months after the draft). Yet nobody in NXT is sweating this because the depth is so deep with A-level talent right now.

Given Roman Reigns’ recent suspension for violating the WWE’s wellness policy, what is some advice that you would give him?

I don’t know any better advice I can give someone than to say I make no excuses and I own this. That’s called accountability and it’s the same thing I teach my children. The man took accountability for his actions.

You can read the entire interview at this link.



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