In February, we talked about former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez attending Elimination Chamber. Velasquez said he “could feel at home” in the WWE. Many took that as a sign that Cardio Cain would sign up for WWE. Nothing came of it until the July 18th NXT tapings when Cain was shown in attendance. Adding fuel to the fire is this story from WWE.com about Velasquez training at the Performance Center. Velasquez trained with PC trainer Norman Smiley, who teaches the basics/beginner class for signees with no wrestling experience.
“My experience here has been amazing,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to being here and learning as much as I can. I’ve been a fan of the sport since I was a little kid, and now I get to participate in it.”
Below is our original story from February of Velasquez attending Elimination Chamber.
At the Elimination Chamber PPV, former UFC megastar signed with WWE and then threw Triple H through a table. It was a great moment. To help sell the importance of the moment, several UFC stars were in attendance. Besides Rousey’s husband, Travis Browne, Light Heavyweight and Seth Rollins Superfan Daniel Cormier, and former Heavyweight Champ Cain Velasquez were also ringside. Cardio Cain seemed to dig his first live WWE experience, and dropped this tweet that got the Internet buzzing
First @WWE event! I could feel at home here! @brocklesnar, I wouldn’t mind taking another belt from you. #WWE #WWEChamber #WrestleMania #LuchaLibre #Luchador #DontCallMeNachoLibre pic.twitter.com/q9cXxrEi85
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) February 26, 2018
How serious is Cain? Probably not very. He was most likely there to see fellow UFC megastar Rousey sign her contract and attack the McMahon-Helmsley super couple.
Another UFC-themed tweet came from UFC President Dana White. Right as the PPV started, the controversial figurehead dropped this tweet featuring Universial Champion Brock Lesnar.
Rumors of Brock’s return to the Octagon have run for over a year. He is still suspended by USADA for doping and will need to pass several months of random tests before he can be eligible to fight again.
Cain Velasquez beat Brock Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight Title in 2010. That began a tear for Velasquez that only ended due to injury. Cain’s last fight in UFC was against Browne.
We’re far more likely to see Cain and Brock meet in the Octogan again than the squared circle.
With Rousey and Shayna Baszler transitioning to wrestling, the door is wide-open for MMA stars to move to sports entertainment. Dave Meltzer even reported that Rousey’s husband is training to become a wrestler as well. We’ve talked endlessly about the interchangeable skills between MMA and professional wrestling. Both combine athleticism and showmanship to sell a compelling and exciting moment. The two have taken cues from the other for the last 25 years, and it shows no signs of stopping.
How do you feel about the influx of mixed martial artists moving to WWE? It certainly has a long history, but with UFC and WWE near all-time highs, it would seem like an excellent time for some cross-promotion.