Cain Velasquez Signs Multi-Year WWE Contract, Retires From UFC

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(Photo: WWE)

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion and current bane of Brock Lesnar's existence Cain Velasquez has seemingly made the full-time pivot to the world of professional wrestling. After effectively retiring from his MMA career with the UFC, Velasquez has reportedly signed a multi-year deal to perform in the WWE. The deal, first reported by ESPN's Marc Raimondi, comes hot off Velasquez's big entrance at the premiere episode of WWE SmackDown on FOX, during which he took down new WWE Chamption Brock Lesnar.

The two are confirmed to be going head-to-head in Velasquez's WWE debut at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, taking place on October 31st.

Velasquez is joined by Tyson Fury, the reigning boxing heavyweight champion, who is making a much shorter detour into professional wrestling and participating in a feud with Braun Strowman.

Velasquez attacked Lesnar immediately after The Beast took down Kofi Kingston to win the top title in the WWE, and the former UFC Champ was flanked by one of Lesnar's rivals in Rey Mysterio. This closed the big FOX debut of SmackDown, promising that Lesnar and Velasquez rivalry would spill out of the octagon and into the WWE's squared circle for some time to come.

Other details of Velasquez's deal have not yet been reported, but the WWE Universe should expect the decorated fighter to have a huge presence in the promotion for years to come. According to ESPN, Velasquez reported the UFC of his retirement and the promotion responded by removing him from the drug testing pool for the USADA as well as the UFC heavyweight rankings.

This comes after Velasquez signed a four-fight contract with the UFC earlier this year, fulfilling just one of those bouts in a loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC on ESPN 1 in February. He has not returned to the octagon since.

Velasquez has history with Lesnar, as he defeated The Beast for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 121 in October 2010; Lesnar did not win any of his next to UFC fights since that bout.

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When Velasquez made his surprising debut at WWE SmackDown last week, fans were stunned because it was one of the first times Lesnar appeared to be visibly in fear of another wrestler. After Velasquez gave him a quick takedown and delivered a flurry of blows, Lesnar quickly retreated and seemed to be shocked by his former rival's WWE debut.

Now we'll see how WWE promotes the match as we head toward Crown Jewel, which will air on the WWE Network on October 31st.