As previously reported by The Inquisitr, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has been in contact with multiple wrestling promotions, including New Japan Pro Wrestling and WWE. While it remains unclear whether Velasquez – who has also reportedly drawn the interest of All Elite Wrestling – will sign with either company, a new report suggests that WWE has something in mind if the veteran mixed martial artist opts to join Vince McMahon’s promotion.
On Monday, longtime combat sports journalist Dave Meltzer offered a new update on Velasquez’s budding pro wrestling career. Writing for MMA Fighting, Meltzer wrote that the “key” to signing the 37-year-old UFC standout to WWE would be a potential match versus former three-time Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, who, despite his part-time schedule, is the company’s highest-paid wrestler. This would mark a rematch of sorts between both men – albeit in a predetermined setting – as Velasquez defeated Lesnar for the UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 121 in 2010.
Although Velasquez appears interested in a long-term move to the squared circle, there may be some caveats before he signs a lengthy contract with any of his pro wrestling suitors. As cited by Meltzer, WWE sources believe there’s a strong possibility the former UFC champion would need to undergo knee surgery prior to signing a long-term deal. This, in combination with his advanced age and reputation as an MMA fighter, could force the company to rush his development and get him to the main roster as soon as possible.
Talking about Velasquez’s chances of inking a long-term pro wrestling contract, WrestlingNews.co speculated that it would be least likely for him to sign with Mexican promotion AAA Lucha Libre, where he wrestled two matches despite his knee injury but may not be willing to commit to because of the lower pay scale. However, the outlet suggested that AAA’s working relationship with AEW could also swing things in favor of both companies. WWE, on the other hand, would likely prefer an exclusive deal with Velasquez where he couldn’t wrestle for rival promotions or continue fighting in the UFC octagon.
However, there’s also a chance it may be a while before Velasquez joins WWE, AEW, or any other U.S.-based promotion. As noted, the ex-UFC champion still has multiple fights remaining on his contract with UFC, which reportedly allowed him to wrestle for AAA but prevented him from taking part in physical action during Saturday’s appearance for the U.S.-based independent promotion Pro Wrestling Revolution.
Meanwhile, Lesnar is scheduled to face Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship on Friday Night SmackDown‘s October 4 premiere episode on Fox.