A former UFC heavyweight champion who had crossed over to work for the premier pro wrestling organization in the world didn’t end up having a very long career among his fellow WWE superstars.
Cain Velasquez is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion, and his first title win came against Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in 2010. But Velasquez was released by the company after signing a multi-year deal about six months ago. His release was part of a huge wave of releases and furloughs this month happening due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic per Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio.
Velasquez’s WWE career didn’t last that long, so it’s possible he could be headed back to MMA soon.
Velasquez Disappeared After WWE Crown Jewel in October
Velasquez made his WWE debut on SmackDown in October. The storyline involved Lesnar and led to the two former UFC rivals facing each other at WWE Crown Jewel later that month. Lesnar won the short match via submission, but Velasquez hasn’t been seen since.
That came after just a few months of work in the pro wrestling world.
A few months prior, the former UFC star signed with AAA, a Mexican Lucha Libre promotion based in Mexico City, and competed in trios matches with a mask before making the jump to WWE. Additionally, being a former UFC champion also seemed to afford him other offers. The fighter had also discussed joining AEW before ultimately signing with WWE.
Is Velasquez Headed Back to UFC?
Velasquez’s last MMA fight came after a nearly three-year hiatus from the cage against Francis Ngannou in February 2019. He was stopped in the first round by the powerful striker after just 26 seconds and decided to move over to the pro wrestling world soon after that loss.
Still, mounting injuries are what seemed to have kept Velasquez from competing more with the UFC over the last few years. After losing his heavyweight title to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188 in 2015, he only made it to the Octagon twice over the next four years.
The fighter’s last win with the company came after a 13-month layoff. Velazquez stopped
Travis Browne in the first round at UFC 200 in 2016.
But Velasquez is essentially a free agent again, and depending on how his body feels and his goals, he could be headed back to the Octagon soon. Moreover, Velasquez would be a likely candidate for a move over to Bellator or another MMA promoter that might overpay the former champion to bolster its heavyweight roster.
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