Velasquez Reportedly Released By WWE
Only competing for the company once, the WWE career of Cain Velasquez appears to have come to an end.
According to the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer stated that Velasquez (14-3) has been released by Vince McMahon’s WWE. He would be one of the hundreds of figures let go by WWE via budget cuts in the wake of the coronavirus.
A former two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion, Velasquez started his run in wrestling by training at the WWE Performance Center. He made appearances in 2019 for Mexican promotion Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, earning significant praise for his athletic in-ring ability. The 37-year-old then signed a deal with WWE, making his debut for the company on the FOX premiere of SmackDown on October 4.
Velasquez started a rivalry with a man he was familiar with in the octagon in Brock Lesnar. The then-WWE Champion fought Velasquez in Saudi Arabia. Lesnar easily won the bout via kimura lock submission. Before his next appearance, Velasquez got injured and hasn’t been used since.
At the same time as his WWE signing, Velasquez retired from MMA and withdrew from the USADA testing pool.
Making his MMA pro debut in 2006 for Strikeforce, Velasquez joined the UFC in 2008. In his seventh pro fight for the promotion, he beat Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 121. He ended up losing it next time out to Junior dos Santos. After a rebound win against Antonio Silva, Velaquez beat dos Santos at UFC 155 in 2012 to reclaim the belt. He defended it twice before losing it to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188. He fought a year later at UFC 200 in 2016, beating Travis Browne via TKO.
After a two-and-a-half-year absence, Velasquez returned to the octagon in February 2019. In Phoenix, Velasquez was knocked out by Francis Ngannou in 26 seconds, injuring himself in the process. He started his WWE journey after that.
Velasquez has three fights left on his most recent deal with the UFC, but it is unknown if he will return to the octagon at any point.