Brock Lesnar always knew how to make an entrance. And even after losing to Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC 141 Friday night, he knew how to make an exit as well, stealing the show in Las Vegas with his announcement that he was retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts at the age of 34.

Finishing with a record of 5-3, Lesnar’s slate didn’t truly reveal the impact he had on the sport in a little over four years, or what he had to overcome to get into the Octagon in the tail end of his short career. Needless to say, he will be remembered by fans of the sport, some who booed, some who cheered, but all of whom watched him when he competed.

A 2000 NCAA Division I national wrestling champion for the University of Minnesota, South Dakota’s Lesnar went on to international stardom as a WWE wrestler before leaving that world to try out for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, despite a strong showing, Lesnar was cut, but he didn’t stay idle for long, opting to begin a career in mixed martial arts after a short return to pro wrestling.

“I originally wanted to fight when I was in junior college,” said Lesnar, who wrestled for Bismarck State College, in 2008. “I took some summer school out in Lassen, California, where I met up with some guys who trained out of the Lions Den. They booked me in a show in Reno, Nevada, and then I had to pull out because once you got paid to participate in something, the NCAA wouldn’t accept me, and I wanted to wrestle. But I had actually started rolling and learning jiu-jitsu back in junior college when I was 19-20 years old.”

After putting in the requisite work in the gym, Lesnar was signed to make his debut against seven-foot-two Hong Man Choi at a K-1 event in Los Angeles in June, but he was instead matched up with late replacement Min Soo Kim, an Olympic silver medalist in judo.

The fight was a blowout for Lesnar, who took Kim to the mat and pounded on him, forcing a tap out due to strikes in just one minute and nine seconds.

“I was just so happy to put my fist in some other guy’s face,” said Lesnar of his pro debut. “I felt like I was in heaven. It did go fast, 69 seconds, and it felt like it was five seconds.”

Lesnar immediately made it known that he wanted to compete in the UFC, and a meeting with company president Dana White ensued.

“From the first conversation I had with Brock Lesnar, I was confident that he was gonna fight in the UFC,” said White. “He had fought in another show, and after he fought in that show, he realized what it was like to fight in a rinky-dink organization. Fighters and athletes of that caliber want to come to the UFC because this is the place to be. It’s the most professional, it’s got the best fighters in the world and if you want to make your name and cement your legacy, the UFC is the only place to do it.”

Eventually, Lesnar convinced White that he was ready to take on the best the UFC had to offer and that he didn’t want any gimme fights. And White didn’t give him any, matching him up immediately with former heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 81 in February of 2008.

After a strong start, Lesnar was submitted by Mir, but by the time he rebounded with wins over Heath Herring and Randy Couture, he was the heavyweight champion of the world, a feat he accomplished in just four pro fights.

At UFC 100 in July of 2009, he avenged the loss to Mir via second round TKO, but was struck a few months later with the first of two bouts of diverticulitis that threatened his career and his life.

He refused surgery after the first case of diverticulitis struck and he made a miraculous recovery, capping off his comeback with perhaps the biggest win of his career, a second round submission victory over Shane Carwin.

Three months after the Carwin bout, Lesnar would lose his belt to Cain Velasquez, and after a stint as a coach on season 13 of The Ultimate Fighter, he was hit a second time with diverticulitis. This time, he opted for surgery and had 12 inches of his colon removed. But once again, he rose from the proverbial canvas to beat the ailment and step back into the Octagon.

And while getting halted in the first round by Overeem wasn’t the way he wanted to leave the sport, a promise to his wife and children to retire should he lose prompted the big man from Alexandria, Minnesota to make his announcement to the world Saturday night and end a career that was like a shooting star – it didn’t last long and it burned out at the end, but when it was at its peak, it was something you wouldn’t miss seeing for the world.