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Brock Lesnar Illness Update, Expects To Be Back To UFC In 2012

Brock Lesnar's ongoing bout with diverticulitis should take a major turn this week, as the UFC's biggest box-office draw will meet with doctors to determine whether he is a candidate for surgery. Regardless of your opinion on him, it is hard to not sympathize for the plight of the former heavy champion.

After contracting the disease during preparation for his November 2009 title defense against Shane Carwin, the NCAA Division I Wrestling stud was forced to withdraw from the contest, incurring an almost year-long layoff as his battled for his life against the intestinal disease.

The experience seemed to be humbling for the brash champion, and by late 2010 everything was back on course for Lesnar. He immediately  jumped back into the fray, fighting twice in four months, and signed on to be a featured coach of the "The Ultimate Fighter" season 13 against fellow heavyweight Junior dos Santos, with the intention of fighting the Brazilian at the conclusion of the show to determine the number one contender for the belt. 

Yet, the behemoth Minnesotan's plans have been derailed once again, as the diverticulitis he believed to have defeated reared its ugly head, forcing Lesnar to withdraw from the scheduled bout and return to the hospital.

While doing the media rounds to promote his new memoir, "Death Clutch: My Story of Determination, Domination, and Survival", Brock spoke to The Fight Show's Mauro Ranallo about where head is at, and his prospects for the future. (via FightOpinion):

"I'm very disappointed. This has, not only mentally, but this has been very physically strenuous on me, you know, since my first bout with Diverticulitis in 2009. Having to back away from a fight is not something that I think anybody likes to do, surely me, you know, the first time it happened to me and to fall under the same circumstances, I thought I had this thing beaten and I'm very disappointed but getting past that and understand that, you know, my health is very important and I got another doctor's appointment on Thursday and a consultation where we're going to go over and just try to figure out the best approach to try to handle this and it may be surgery and it may be not. We're reviewing other options here to try to help me but, you know, I want to get back into the Octagon sooner than later."

Rumors have been swirling that the former champion would be forced to retire as a result of his three year on-again-off-again battle with the disease. Later in the interview, Lesnar somberly shut down the notion.

"No, it's not over. I mean, I don't, you know, even talking with the doctors about the possibility of surgery, there's really, uh, it's not a career-ending surgery by any means so I just got to weigh out all my options at this time and see if that is the right thing to do or is there's any other medication that I can be on or any other thing, I don't know how I can change my diet any more than I have but we're looking down all avenues right now and I foresee, you know, in the near future that I'll be able to step back in the Octagon."

On a UFC 130 conference call UFC president Dana White echoed the sentiment. (via MMA Mania):

"I'm optimistic that Brock (Lesnar) will bounce back from this thing. Maybe by the first of the year."

While it's unclear how much of White's statement is actual fact as opposed to wishful thinking, we can all hope the big man's story does not veer into a tragedy. Countless athletes have been derailed from promising careers by various means, but Lesnar's story is uniquely heartbreaking. Let's hope Mr. White is right to suggest a speedy recovery.

More from White on Lesnar's status: