Brock Lesnar has just earned the most important victory of his mixed martial arts career, even though it wasn't in the octagon.
After being diagnosed with a severe intestinal disorder that could have forced him into early retirement, the UFC heavyweight champion has been given a clean bill of health and is set to return to competition this summer.
"I'm 100 per cent and I'm going to be back in the octagon sooner rather than later," Lesnar said on a conference call. "I know one thing; (the other heavyweights) are all s***ting their pants right now."
Late last year, Lesnar (4-1) was forced to pull out of two scheduled bouts with Shane Carwin -- one at November's UFC 106 card, the other in January at UFC 108 -- after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.
It was later revealed he also suffered from an intestinal disorder called diverticulitis, which causes inflamed pouches to form on the large intestine.
"One of (the pouches) ruptured and I had a hole in my stomach," Lesnar said. "A minor hole, but any tear in your stomach lining releases free air -– and I was killing myself."
Lesnar was told he would require a temporary colostomy, removing the damaged portion of the large intestine. This would have forced him to use a colostomy bag for six to eight weeks, when the colon could then be reattached.
Had Lesnar undergone the procedure, he admitted he would have likely retired from mixed martial arts. However, a Jan. 5 colonoscopy found nothing wrong with him.
With the whole ordeal behind him, Lesnar is looking forward to facing the winner of the Mar. 27 bout between Carwin and Frank Mir.
In his last fight, Lesnar earned a TKO victory over Frank Mir at UFC 100 to unify the heavyweight and interim-heavyweight belts. Since then Mir has continually challenged Lesnar to a rematch.
Lesnar said he's more than willing to face Mir again.
"Absolutely. I don't think I beat him as bad as I could," Lesnar said. "You know, it's been a while since I've had a stalker, but we'll take care of that if I ever face him again."