Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez Reflects on His WWE Release

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez made his jump to the WWE back in October 2019 and was immediately catapulted into a WWE Championship match with Brock Lesnar at that year's Crown Jewel pay-per-view. The bout was a rematch from their UFC 121 heavyweight championship fight in 2010, only this time it was incredibly one-sided in Lesnar's favor and ended in just two minutes. Velasquez would only wrestle one more time in WWE — a tag match with Humberto Carrillo at a Mexico City live event — before being cut by the company in April 2020. He's currently gearing up for a return to Lucha Libre AAA down in Mexico later this year and spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour this week about his time in WWE. 

"It is what it is man," Velasquez said (h/t "That was just me going into it and really just trying to figure out what it was. It was all thrown at me at once, whole new origination. I was there for whatever anybody needed as far as to have me build into whatever they wanted me to build into. That didn't happen this turnaround. I'm sorry to everyone that I let down. That does hurt me as well because I expect a lot out of myself."

"They just didn't use me, I wasn't called to go in for them to use me. At one point they told me we were going to go do something with some of the lucha guys and when that time came close, we were deep into COVID," he added. "They were like, 'we're just doing the shows this way like we just need these core guys right now.' They just needed me to develop a lot more and I wasn't there. So they really couldn't use me in that way."

As for Lesnar, "The Beast" would hold the WWE title until WrestleMania 36 before dropping it to Drew McIntyre. With his WWE contract expiring that summer, Lesnar would be off WWE programming for 16 months before returning at the end of SummerSlam to confront Roman Reigns. He lost a Universal Championship match against "The Tribal Chief" at Crown Jewel last week, then was "suspended" on SmackDown for attacking various WWE employees. He'll reportedly be back in time for the Royal Rumble in January.