Cain Velasquez's match at TripleMania today might not be the only time we see the former UFC heavyweight champion compete in the wrestling ring.
Before he was set to face off in Lucha Libre AAA's biggest show of the year, Velasquez sat down with Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso to discuss his move to pro wrestling.
"I grew up watching pro wrestling, and I’ve always loved it, especially lucha style wrestling. It’s something I’ve wanted to do, and I’m happy that I have this opportunity now to do it," Velasquez said.
Back in the summer of 2018, Velasquez spent some time in the WWE Performance Center in Florida, sparking rumors of a run in WWE, following in the footsteps of Ronda Rousey and Matt Riddle and be the latest UFC star to head to WWE. While Velasquez admitted that he considered going to WWE, he realized that he wanted to be a part of the lucha libre aspect of pro wrestling more than just being in WWE, leading to him signing with AAA.
"It was a consideration, but for me, lucha libre has a more special place in my heart, from everything to my nationality to where I grew up. I have so much pride for lucha libre, so it hits me closer to the heart," Velasquez said.
Velasquez's foray into pro wrestling doesn't mean that his UFC run is immediately over. Quite the contrary, Velasquez said his UFC contract allows him to compete both in the octagon and in pro wrestling and even said he would consider wrestling on a weekly basis. Velasquez fought for the first time since 2016 back in February, losing to Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN 1.
"My UFC contract allows me to do both. I can keep wrestling as long as I want, and I can keep fighting as long as I want. As far as the wrestling goes, there are two more events that I am for sure doing after TripleMania," Velasquez said.
Velasquez is teaming up with Cody Rhodes and Psycho Clown to face Texano Jr., Taurus and a mystery partner at TripleMania XXVII. The full Q&A between Sports Illustrated and Velasquez can be read at this link.