Brock Lesnar has had a storied career in amateur and professional wrestling. He has also amassed a 5-3 professional MMA record. Lesnar’s history with the NFL, however, is not talked about as much as his combat sports career.
Whilst the former UFC heavyweight champion never officially played in the league, he was at one point announced to be part of an NFL team.
Before making the transition to mixed martial arts, Brock Lesnar decided to try his hand at American football. Lesnar had already debuted for the WWE at this point and had become the youngest champion in the history of the organization.
Which NFL team did Brock Lesnar try out for?
Following his initial run with the WWE, Brock Lesnar decided to attempt to make it into the NFL. He tried out for the Minnesota Vikings and was selected for their practice squad following an impressive performance in the NFL draft combine.
An interview with Brock Lesnar, via Bloody Elbow, is proof of just how serious the WWE and former UFC champion was about his NFL career:
“This is no load of bull. It’s no WWE stunt. I am dead serious about this… I ain’t afraid of anything and I ain’t afraid of anybody. I’ve been an underdog in athletics since I was 5. I got zero college offers for wrestling. Now people say I can’t play football, that it’s a joke. I say I can,” said Brock Lesnar.
“I’m as good an athlete as a lot of guys in the NFL, if not better… I’ve always had to fight for everything. I wasn’t the best technician in amateur wrestling. But I was strong, had great conditioning, and a hard head. Nobody could break me. As long as I have that, I don’t give a damn what anybody else thinks,” added Brock Lesnar.
Brock Lesnar did compete in several of the team’s pre-season matches, playing in the role of defensive tackle. However, Lesnar suffered a motorcycle accident leading to a broken jaw, a bruised pelvis, and a groin injury.
This severely limited his performance at the tryouts. Lesnar trained with the Minnesota Vikings for two months before getting cut.
Life after the NFL
Brock Lesnar went on to have an extremely successful career, in both pro wrestling and MMA. He initially returned to wrestling following his failed attempt at entering the NFL. However, Lesnar had his first MMA fight just a year later, competing for the Japanese organization Hero’s.
He was successful on his MMA debut and was promptly signed to the UFC. After making a rocky start to his UFC career, he quickly began amassing wins and soon won the heavyweight title.
However, after picking up back-to-back losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, Lesnar retired from the sport and went back to pro wrestling. Lesnar reclaimed the WWE title and held it for a significant period of time.