WWE’s latest crossover MMA fighter Cain Velasquez has retired from mixed martial arts and has signed a multi-year deal with WWE.
Velasquez leaves MMA with a 15-3 win-loss record, having won the UFC heavyweight belt in 2010 and 2012. He owns victories over the likes of Junior dos Santos (twice), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and WWE’s own Brock Lesnar. But concurrent injuries to his knees, back and shoulders marred his run atop the division.
Velasquez trained for a while at WWE Performance Center last year. He made his pro-wrestling debut at AAA Lucha Libre’s Triplemania back in August this year, sharing the ring with the likes of Cody Rhodes and Killer Kross. He made his WWE debut last week, confronting Lesnar after his WWE Championship win.
On the day of his WWE debut, the news came out that Velasquez has pulled out of the USADA testing pool which indicated his retirement from MMA. But he was also reported to not have signed a deal with WWE until his debut. However, ESPN reported yesterday that he has signed a deal with WWE and have notified UFC of his retirement.
A few hours later, WWE also posted the same thing on their website and more or less confirmed the report. Velasquez has also been removed from the UFC heavyweight rankings. Velasquez will be joining the likes of Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey as the former UFC stars to be active with WWE currently.
Velasquez is also announced to be facing WWE Champion Brock Lesnar at WWE’s Saudi Arabia event, Crown Jewel 2019. The match was confirmed in a press conference yesterday along with the match between Braun Strowman and Boxing Lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury.