REGINA - Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall jokes that if former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar moves to the province, Lesnar can pretty much pick any house he wants.
Wall made the comment in a speech Thursday to a Regina business crowd that included the U.S. wrestler and retired mixed martial artist.
"He likes Saskatchewan, he told me, in fact he comes here regularly," Wall said after the speech.
"He told me he's not ruling out moving here and he just wanted to check out, I guess, the political situation and the economic situation. It's what he told me and I wasn't about to challenge him on any of his answers."
Lesnar said he was visiting his brother's farm in Maryfield, southeast of Regina, near the Manitoba boundary, to help with the harvest. He found out about the luncheon and decided he wanted to hear what the premier had to say.
"I eventually want to become a Saskatchewan resident and ... I just want to learn a little more about the province," he said.
"I grew up on a farm. I love the country. I like the wildlife. I like everything that Saskatchewan has to offer."
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Newly-crowned heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar poses with his belt at the post-fight news conference after beating Randy (The Natural) Couture at UFC 91 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sunday, Nov.16, 200.
Brock Lesnar is tended by a cut man after a UFC mixed martial arts match with Cain Velasquez in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. Velasquez won by TKO in the first round.
Randy Couture, left, takes a punch from Brock Lesnar during the first round of their UFC World Heavyweight mixed martial art championship match Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008 in Las Vegas. Lesnar won by TKO in the second round.
UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar poses on the scale during a weigh-in on Friday July 10 in Las Vegas. Lesnar is due to fight Frank Mir in their UFC 100 bout scheduled for Saturday.
FILE - This Nov. 15, 2008, file photo shows Randy Couture getting hit with punches from Brock Lesnar during the 2nd round of their UFC World Heavyweight mixed martial art championship match in Las Vegas. Lesnar is ready to resume training to defend his UFC heavyweight title after a serious intestinal problem derailed his career and endangered his life.
UFC's Brock Lesnar during a training session in his training camp in Alexandria, Minnesota, USA on June 15, 2009.
Shane Carwin, top, punches Brock Lesnar during their UFC heavyweight mixed martial arts title match Saturday, July 3, 2010, at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Lesnar won by second round submission.
Brock Lesnar celebrates a victory during UFC heavyweight mixed martial arts title on July 3, 2010, in Las Vegas. Lesnar says he was physically ready for Cain Velasquez last October but not mentally so. Lesnar, who lost his title to Velasquez, says the emotional roller-coaster of 2010 took its toll.
Brock Lesnar, foreground, takes punches from Cain Velasquez during a UFC mixed martial arts match in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010. Velasquez won by TKO in the first round.
Brock Lesnar celebrates his second round victory over Shane Carwin during their UFC heavyweight mixed martial arts title match Saturday, July 3, 2010, at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
New UFC World Heavyweight mixed martial art champion Brock Lesnar poses for a photo after defeating Randy Couture, Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008 in Las Vegas. Lesnar won by TKO in the second round.
It seems a far cry from when Lesnar fell ill on a hunting trip to Manitoba and, in January 2010, criticized Canadian health care as being no better than in "a Third World country."
In his autobiography "Death Clutch," released in 2011, the mixed martial arts star describes his painful stay at a Brandon hospital in late 2009. Lesnar says he suffered because the hospital's lone CT machine was broken, meaning doctors were unable to find out what was causing his stomach pain.
At the time, the CEO of the Brandon Regional Health Authority said the hospital was well-equipped and modern with skilled, trained staff.
Lesnar and wife drove across the border to a hospital in Bismarck, N.D., where he was diagnosed shortly thereafter with diverticulitis, a digestive disorder.
"It could have happened anywhere," he said.
"That doesn't deter me from becoming a Canadian citizen, no it doesn't. It's one of those things where it probably could have been anywhere and you know, who knows (what would have happened). It was just circumstance and that's all it was."
Lesnar said "in the near future," he would like to get dual citizenship and live in Saskatchewan full time.
"I just want to raise my kids on the farm and have them grow up learning how to work on the farm and building that strong work ethic, just like I did."
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