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MEXICO CITY — Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez stunned even veteran wrestling observers with his performance in his lucha libre debut on Aug. 3.
No, professional wrestling isn’t the same as actual fighting, but it is a highly skilled, physically grueling profession, and it usually takes years for a novice to master.
But with Velasquez making waves in an art form in which the goal is to make it appear as if you are trying to hurt someone without hurting them for real, the next question is natural: How long will he want to stay in the fight game, in which inflicting real pain is the name of the game?
After all, Velasquez is 37 years old and is rehabbing a knee injury, the latest setback in a career filled with major injuries which might have prevented him from fulfilling potential as the heavyweight GOAT.
Velasquez, who is in Mexico as a guest fighter during UFC on ESPN+ 17 fight week, is playing things coy for now. His UFC contract allows him to have one more match with the AAA wrestling promotion, on Oct. 13 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and then he’s going to figure it out from there.
“I think it’s definitely too early to tell right now,” Velasquez told MMA Junkie. “For me, I’m just kind of focused on the task at hand and right now that’s the wrestling and that’s for October. I just want to put on a good show for October. And then I’ll see what happens after that, if I want to keep doing some more wrestling, get a fight, my options options are open.”
For now the former champ is simply enjoying learning the art form of lucha libre, which is Mexico’s version of sports entertainment.
“I’m enjoying it a lot,” Velasquez said. “From the practicing, I’m learning new things, it’s making my mind work, it’s pretty fun. And doing the matches as well, it’s all lighthearted throughout the whole match, being able to talk with crowd and interact with the crowd in between is something I haven’t done with MMA and I still get to do some of same moves that we do in MMA, so that’s pretty cool as well. So I’m digging it, yeah.”
As for who Velasquez might want to meet in the wrestling ring, former UFC foe Brock Lesnar is one, but he has someone else in mind.
“I would consider wrestling Brock, yes,” Velasquez said. “But I think the match in my mind that I would pick out against anybody would be The Rock. I want to wrestle The Rock.”
For more from Velasquez, click on the video linked above.
News | MMA Junkie