Brock Lesnar defeats Mark Hunt via unanimous decision in UFC return

LAS VEGAS -- Heavyweight cage fighting, apparently, is just like riding a bike if you're Brock Lesnar.

Nearly five years removed from his last bout, Lesnar (6-3), a former UFC heavyweight champion, made a successful return to the Octagon on Saturday, defeating Mark Hunt via unanimous decision. The three-round fight co-headlined UFC 200 at T-Mobile Arena.

"Oh, man, it took me a little while to get acclimated," Lesnar said. "Words can't describe it. Thank you, everybody. Thanks so much."

Lesnar, 38, stuck to his strengths against Hunt, who was ranked No. 7 in the world by ESPN ahead of the weekend and fought for the interim UFC title in late 2014. The WWE star alternated between keeping a safe, long distance from Hunt and shooting takedowns.

When Lesnar was able to get Hunt down, which he did in the first and third rounds, it was smooth sailing. His massive size and wrestling ability looked as dominant as during his peak in mixed martial arts, when he won and defended the heavyweight title between 2008 and 2010.

All things considered, it was a relatively smooth return to the Octagon for Lesnar. Hunt managed to land a few punches, but Lesnar was able to keep the pressure and keep Hunt on the mat.

"People don't realize, for a guy who only fought a few times in this sport, then goes away for as long as he has, his age and everything -- to come back and do what he did tonight is pretty impressive," UFC president Dana White said on SportsCenter after Saturday's card. "He's a freak of nature."

UFC announced Lesnar's return to the Octagon in June, a little more than one month before UFC 200. He remains under contract with WWE and is scheduled to appear at SummerSlam in August. Lesnar, who resides in Maryfield, Saskatchewan, declined to say whether he will fight in UFC again.

"One day at a time," he said. "I'm so happy to be in here."

White said afterward that Saturday's fight was a one-time deal because of Lesnar's contract with WWE but added, "That doesn't mean we couldn't do something again in the future."