WWE star Goldberg training kickboxing for Brock Lesnar match
WWE star Goldberg incorporated kickboxing into his training regimen to prepare for his Universal Title Match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 33 earlier this year.
From an MMA perspective, the fight was notable given that both fighters have strong ties to the sport.
Lesnar’s contribution is well established, having left the WWE earlier in his career and then signed with the UFC, where he would go on to win the heavyweight title and successfully defend it twice, defeating the likes of Randy Couture, Frank Mir, and Shane Carwin along the way.
Lesnar eventually returned to WWE after back-to-back defeats against Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, but his passion for the sport never faded and he eventually returned for a one-off fight at UFC 200, where he would defeat Mark Hunt by unanimous decision, though the result was later amended to a no-contest ruling when he failed a post-fight drug test.
On the other hand, Bill Goldberg has never fought in MMA, but he is a long-time fan of the sport, and indeed around the time Lesnar was first pursuing his own career in the cage, he was starting to do color commentary for the WFA mixed martial arts promotion, then K-1 Dynamite USA and finally a long stint with Elite XC.
“I’d love to, especially if I was 21 or even 29, but these guys are so far ahead of me in terms of experience,” Goldberg said at the time when asked if he’d like to compete in the sport.
Nevertheless, Goldberg has trained in kickboxing for several years, and in 2015 he even flew to Amsterdam to hone his skills with Glory heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven, while claiming that he had the ambition to fight in the promotion one day.
While that hasn’t materialized, the 50-year-old Goldberg did use kickboxing in preparation for his match with Lesnar, as can be seen from this training video in which he’s seen working with the likes of former kickboxing and MMA fighter turned coach Duane ‘Bang’ Ludwig and Glory star Simon Marcus.
However, despite that he’d go on to lose to his rival, who would repeatedly suplex him before finishing with his trademark ‘F5’ move.
Lesnar has recently been dropping hints that he may rejoin the UFC when his current deal with the WWE expires next year, but it remains to be seen whether that’s just a negotiating tactic to ensure a more lucrative deal from the pro-wrestling outfit.