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Cain Velasquez ‘Fell Back In Love’ With Pro Wrestling

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will challenge Brock Lesnar for WWE gold later this month at Crown Jewel from Saudi Arabia.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez grew up in wrestling.

Now, he is returning to the sport that first caught his attention as a youngster.

Velasquez confirmed his plans to retire from mixed martial arts and compete for the WWE as a pro wrestler. He made his first appearance with WWE while attacking former opponent and current WWE champion Brock Lesnar on a recent episode of RAW.

Cain Velasquez Helps WWE Legend In Feud

“A year ago, when I went to my first WWE show, I fell back in love with a sport that I had watched and participated in since I was a child,” Velasquez wrote on Instagram. “From that moment, I have been doing a crash course on all things that relate to pro wrestling.

“I’ve been training at different gyms, going to shows and watching more matches then I would like to admit, but I can honestly say I eat, sleep and breath wrestling now. The contract is signed and I’m on my way to my next goal which is Universal Champion.”

Velasquez added a “thank you for welcoming me with open arms” to the WWE Universe.

Instagram Statement From Former UFC Champion

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thank you. Muchas gracias. @wwe @ufc #WWECrownJewel

A post shared by Cain Velasquez (@officialcainvelasquez) on

The 37-year-old Velasquez competed twice for the Mexican promotion AAA, exciting fans with his abilities inside the squared circle. He is a former NJCAA national wrestling champion while competing for Iowa Central in Fort Dodge, Iowa, transferring to Arizona State University and placing fourth and fifth in the nation.

Soon after, Velasquez joined American Kickboxing Academy and quickly rose up the MMA ranks at heavyweight. He earned a brown belt in Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, debuting in 2006.

Velasquez competed twice for Strikeforce and Bodog Fight before signing with the UFC in 2008 and debuting with a first round finish of Brad Morris. He added wins over Jake O’Brien, Cheick Kongo, Ben Rothwell and former UFC champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to earn a shot at Lesnar at UFC 121 in 2010.

In just over four minutes, Velasquez finished off Lesnar, improving to 9-0 and becoming the UFC heavyweight champion for the first time in his career.

He lost in his first title defense to Junior dos Santos, but would reclaim the title in 2012 with a decision win over dos Santos, defending it twice more before falling to Fabricio Werdum in 2015.

WWE Debut For Cain Velasquez

Injuries have played the biggest factor into Velasquez only competing three times since 2013, as he finished Travis Browne three years and fell to Ngannou in what is now his final MMA match this past February.

“To the UFC, my family, friends, and all the fans, thank you for the past 11 years,” he wrote. “Thank you to all my coaches, teammates and agents. I am so blessed to have been able to have a career doing something I absolutely love. I knew from the time I was a junior in college I wanted to be a fighter and after graduating from college, I set off on my journey of becoming a fighter with the goal of being UFC Heavyweight champion.

“There are few people in this world that can say they have achieved what I have, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities and position I held being a part of the UFC. With my official retirement from the UFC, it’s time for the next chapter.”

Faceoff Between Velasquez-Lesnar

Lesnar and Velasquez are scheduled to meet later this month at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia.

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