Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has been officially released by the WWE as the company continues to make budget cuts due to COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses all over the world and the WWE is one of them. The company has made numerous high-profile roster cuts in the past few weeks, including notable names such as Kurt Angle, Rusev, and Lance Storm. According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, Velasquez is now the latest casualty.
Velasquez was signed by the WWE last summer after drawing rave reviews for his performance in Mexico’s AAA promotion. WWE chairman Vince McMahon quickly saw the potential Velasquez had in professional wrestling and signed him to a lucrative deal. He was quite popular during his short stint with WWE, even co-headlining the promotion’s Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia last October.
Unfortunately for Velasquez, while he was impressive during his short stint in the world of professional wrestling, the economic realities of the coronavirus pandemic meant that the WWE had to make a number of tough cuts from its roster, and Velasquez was one of them. He is now a free agent and can sign with another wrestling promotion, though a return to mixed martial arts cannot be completely disregarded despite him officially retiring from MMA last fall.
Velasquez last fought in MMA in February 2019, when he was knocked out by Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC on ESPN 1. That was his first appearance in the Octagon since July 2016 when he smashed Travis Browne en route to a first-round knockout victory at UFC 200. Given the numerous injuries that Velasquez endured during his MMA career, it seems unlikely he will ever make a return to the Octagon, but you can never say never.
Where do you think Cain Velasquez ends up next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/28/2020.