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Morning Report: Coach says Cain Velasquez returning to MMA is possible: ‘Money talks’

WWE Announces Matches With Tyson Fury And Cain Velasquez At Crown Jewel Event Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

For many fans and pundits alike, Cain Velasquez is one of MMA’s biggest “what if” stories. The former UFC heavyweight champion in his prime was arguably an unstoppable talent. But in the end, his body was perhaps his biggest rival.

February 2019 marked the last time we saw the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) staple in action. For the first time in three years, Velasquez stepped foot into the octagon where he took on the future champion, Francis Ngannou. The Salinas, Calif. native suffered the same fate that most do when standing across from “The Predator,’ and that was a quick knockout loss in less than a minute. In Velasquez’s case, less than 30 seconds.

Velasquez, 39, announced his retirement from the sport in October of that same year. But as we’ve come to know all too well in MMA, never say never when it comes to the R-word.

“He’s got it if he wants it,” Velasquez’s longtime coach at AKA, Javier Mendez told MMA Junkie. “He’s got it. But I don’t know now if he wants to come back. I don’t speak with him about those things. But it’s possible. If someone says, ‘Hey, here’s $2 million, let’s go fight,’ he might say, ‘Eh, give me $4 [million] and I’ll do it.’”

The immediate aftermath of the Ngannou loss led many to believe that Velasquez suffered another injury mid-fight. His knee appeared to buckle as he landed somewhat awkwardly from the final knockout blows. No surgeries or severe injuries came from the loss, however, and Velasquez wound up committing to a career in professional wrestling.

Well, that only lasted so long as Velasquez signed with the WWE only to be released shortly after his scripted rematch with Brock Lesnar. Regardless of how things ended for Velasquez during this brief stint, it did show that he’s still capable of performing as an athlete to a certain degree.

“He does have more [in the tank] than what Daniel [Cormier] had,” Mendez said. “He’s not the same. Cain is not the same as when he was younger, but he does have more left than Daniel. He is younger — he’s not in his 40s. Remember, Daniel was 42 and he had a back surgery, and after the surgery, ‘DC’ wasn’t the same. The years caught up to him. All the wear and tear and everything came to an end with him. In his mind, he was always a champion. With Daniel, his mind was always stronger than his body.”

The UFC heavyweight division is undeniably at its most compelling than maybe it’s ever been from a business perspective. The champion in Ngannou is requesting his worth and airing his grievances while all-time great, Jon Jones, looms in the background, at the same time wanting proper compensation as well.

Surely, UFC President Dana White would be open to having Velasquez back in the mix, but would he be willing to pay up? You can be the judge on that one. Otherwise, the former champ may need to work a way out of his contract if he does end up trying to make one more run.

“I don’t know, but who knows — money talks most of the time,” Mendez said. “If the money is good and the UFC lets him, it’s possible that he may do it.

“But look, he’d have to fight in the UFC because even if you retire, you’re with the UFC. The UFC needs to give you permission, and if they don’t, you can’t do anything. He is doing pro wrestling, but that’s different. You can’t box, you can’t fight. If he wants to fight, the UFC needs to give him permission.”


TOP STORIES

Happy. Fellow pioneers reflect on the career of Roxanne Modafferi before her final MMA fight at UFC 271.

Warning. Jorge Masvidal continues to let Colby Covington know exactly what he plans on doing to him at UFC 272.

Recovery. Chris Weidman hopes to return to MMA before his birthday in June.

Apology. Julianna Pena apologizes for her conspiratorial comments on the Joe Rogan Experience but still stands by the UFC commentator and comedian.

Change. Robert Whittaker believes he’s a different fighter than the one who fought Israel Adesanya the first time.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 271 Embedded.

Rashad on Rogan.

All-access.

Bisping breaks it down.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Turtles.

Two years.

Winning.

Bomb,

Thiccc Khabib.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tabatha Ricci (6-1) vs. Polyana Viana (12-4); UFC Fight Night, May 21

Dan Ige (15-5) vs. Movsar Evloev (15-0); UFC 275, June 4

Kyle Daukaus (10-2) vs. Jamie Pickett (13-6); UFC Vegas 48, Feb. 19

Jared Gordon (18-4) vs. Rafael Alves (20-10); UFC Fight Night, Apr. 30

Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos (23-7) vs. Mounir Lazzez (10-2); UFC Fight Night, Apr. 16

Douglas Lima (32-10) vs. Jason Jackson (15-4); Bellator London, May 13

Luke Trainer (5-0) vs. Simon Biyong (7-2); Bellator London, May 13

Alfie Davis (14-4) vs. Tim Wilde (14-4); Bellator London, May 13

Kate Jackson (11-5-1) vs. Elina Kallionidou (8-4); Bellator London, May 13

Rin Nakai (22-2-1) vs. Shoko Fujita (2-1); Deep Jewels 36, Mar. 12

Shizuka Sugiyama (20-6-1) vs. Mikiko Shimizu (3-1); Deep Jewels 36, Mar. 12


FINAL THOUGHTS

Finally, Bellator decides to really stack a London card. Thanks for reading!


EXIT POLL

Poll

Do you want to see Cain Velasquez fight again?

  • 27%
    Yes
    (33 votes)
  • 72%
    No
    (89 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now