Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who in more recent years has worked as a professional wrestler for the likes of WWE and AAA, has been arrested on an attempted murder charge.
Velasquez, 39, was taken into custody Monday following a shooting in the Morgan Hill, California area. An early report by NBC Bay Area revealed that a man had been transported to hospital after suffering non-life threatening injuries, while a second man had been taken into custody. The report noted that Velasquez had been involved, but did not say in what capacity.
TMZ later reported that Velasquez had been hit with an attempted murder charge in the incident. No further details have been released, but online court records show that Velasquez is being held without bail pending a hearing on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
Velasquez, a two-time UFC heavyweight champion, has not competed in MMA since a 2019 loss to future/current champ Francis Ngannou. The Mexican-American fighter is considered by many one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time, though his career was marred by injury, leading to frequent gaps in activity.
The heavyweight would win his first title by stopping Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in 2010, only to lose the belt in his first attempt at defending it when he was knocked out by Junior Dos Santos at UFC on FOX 1 the following year.
A year later, Velasquez would reclaim the title in a rematch with Dos Santos, and defend it twice before being upset by Fabricio Werdum. Velasquez would fight just twice more, beating Travis Browne at UFC 200 before falling to Ngannou.
After seemingly wrapping up his fighting career following the Ngannou fight, Velasquez shocked many by turning up on the professional wrestling scene, competing for Mexico’s AAA and signing a deal with WWE — where he would be reunited with old foe Lesnar. Velasquez, however, would be cut by WWE in 2020 after just two official matches.
Update, 3/1/2022 10PM ET: According to a report by The Mercury News, Velasquez allegedly shot at a car containing three men, one of whom has been accused of felonious lewd and lascivious behavior involving a child under 14. The victim in that case, whose identity has been withheld due to their age, is a relative of Velasquez, who appears to have targeted the man, out on bail, in response — but wound up instead hitting the man’s father instead. The victim of the shooting, who has not been charged with any crime, is expected to survive.