Cain Velasquez

USA

Moving on from MMA
HeavyweightOther
October 5, 2019
Velasquez has informed the UFC that he will be withdrawing from the USADA testing pool, which indicates he is moving on from MMA to focus on professional wrestling, Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Withdrawing from the USADA testing pool essentially signals Velasquez's retirement from MMA competition. The timing of the announcement correlated with his debut as a professional wrestler on WWE's Smackdown. The two-time UFC heavyweight champion suffered torn knee ligaments at UFC Phoenix in February and has still been seen sporting a knee brace.
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Fight Stat Wrap: UFC Phoenix
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Signs with Lucha Libre AAA
HeavyweightOther
August 16, 2019
Velasquez will make his U.S. pro-wrestling debut Sept. 15 with Lucha Libre AAA, Marc Raimondi of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Velasquez suffered torn knee ligaments at UFC Phoenix in February, but now appears ready to return to action. The 37-year-old's contract with UFC allows him to perform in wrestling, and he is still on the UFC roster and plans to continue with his MMA career following his two cards with Lucha Libre AAA this fall.
Maximum medical suspension
HeavyweightOther
February 20, 2019
Velasquez (knee) has been suspended 180 days pending medical clearance by the Arizona State Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
The return of Velasquez in front of his home crowd did not go as expected, as he was dropped by a tight uppercut and his knee gave out from under him shortly afterwards. While he was walking around in the cage afterwards and able to give an interview, much of that can be attributed to adrenaline. It's unclear if he suffered a torn ACL, which was originally suspected by the broadcast team, but the former heavyweight champion could once again be looking at extended time on the shelf.
Suffers yet another setback
HeavyweightOther
February 17, 2019
Velasquez lost to Francis Ngannou via TKO (strikes) at 0:26 of Round 1 at UFC on ESPN 1 on Sunday in Phoenix.
ANALYSIS
This is a tough result for Velasquez. He closed the distance and looked for a takedown early. As he changed levels, his knee clearly gave out on him. Ngannou sensed the opening and went to work with his striking. Velasquez was clearly hurt, and the referee was forced to stop the fight. This is only Velasquez's second fight since 2015, and he may be facing another extensive injury layoff. It is hard to imagine what he will look like when he next returns to the cage.
Returns against The Predator
HeavyweightOther
December 22, 2018
Velasquez will headline a UFC Fight Night event in Phoenix against Francis Ngannou on Feb. 17, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Velasquez was once considered one of the greatest heavyweights on the planet, but multiple back injuries derailed the prime years of his career. The former champion has avenged every loss he has ever recorded with the exception of Fabricio Werdum, but his last official fight was all the way back at UFC 200 in 2016. Velasquez will now make his return against one of the most dangerous young fighters in the division in Ngannou. While Ngannou came up short in his title chance and dropped a lackluster decision to Derrick Lewis after that, he was able to return to form in November with a quick, first-round knockout of Curtis Blaydes. Velasquez won't have any time to shake off ring rust in this one, as one touch from Ngannou has the potential to put any man to sleep. His best bet as far as game plan goes is to use his once-elite cardio to take Ngannou into deep waters, and put his wrestling to work from there. That's how former champion Stipe Miocic overcame physical disadvantages to beat Ngannou, and while Ngannou will likely enter as the betting favorite, Velasquez certainly has a shot if he executes a similar strategy.
Eyeing July return
HeavyweightOther
February 7, 2018
Velasquez (back), who continues to train with teammate Daniel Cormier, is hopeful to be added to the UFC 226 card July 7 in Las Vegas, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Velasquez has been on the shelf for 18 months, having last competed at UFC 200 in July of 2016. The American Kickboxing Academy product was once regarded as one of the best heavyweights on the planet, but his troubled injury history has paved the way for Stipe Miocic to take the title of "Baddest Man on the Planet." Miocic will be fighting Daniel Cormier at the July 7 event, and if Cormier is able to pull off a victory, it would put Velasquez in a tough spot. Velasquez and Cormier are teammates at AKA, and have both stated in the past that they would not fight each other. Velasquez stated in a recent interview that he would be open to fighting at light heavyweight, but would prefer his return to be in the division he is most comfortable in.