Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez shocked the MMA and pro wrestling world last week when he showed up on WWE Smackdown to challenge Brock Lesnar. The two have real world history together: Velasquez took the belt off Lesnar at UFC 121 in 2010. So to see him in pro wrestling threatening to take Brock’s WWE championship? It’s a nice example of the painful poetic parallels pro wrestling loves drawing with real life. But what’s the deal? Is Velasquez now on the WWE roster? Cain spoke with ESPN shortly after his Smackdown appearance and clarified he hadn’t signed a deal with the wrestling company.
”That’s correct, not officially ... but hopefully,” he said. “With tonight and doing what I did and kinda working with them ... I would love to work with them. I would love it.” And while Velasquez has withdrawn from the USADA testing pool and would have to spend six months back in it before competing again, he’s leaving the door open for more fights. And why not? A WWE stint is exactly the kind of thing that could make any future UFC fights extremely lucrative for him. ”I feel like fighting will always be there,” he said. “I feel like I have the skills. This at the time is just really fun for me. And who knows where I’ll go from here but I’m enjoying what I’m doing and that’s it for me.” Velasquez also confirmed he has the full support of the UFC in his wrestling endeavors. ”They like it, yes. They talked to me, we’ve talked and [Dana] loves what I’m doing. And that’s awesome, to have the support of Dana White like that? That’s awesome.” And while Velasquez has enjoyed his time with lucha libre promotion AAA and was in talks with New Japan Pro Wrestling, he seems pretty set on making things work with the WWE. ”It’s probably WWE,” Velasquez said. “Again, it’s just me and the guys, the camaraderie. Working with Cody and A.W., I love what they’re doing, Tony Khan. It’s awesome, it’s competition. And that always drives everything to be its best. And to me, working tonight with WWE, it’s just from the get go when I first got to work at the WWE training center, to be there for a week, they welcomed me with open arms and everyone was such a team player.” “I became a fan, much more so, once I started to get my foot in the door. It’s great people in the company that make it just worthwhile and make it fun.” It’s interesting how quickly this all happened. For a while it seemed like Daniel Cormier was the next major UFC fighter we’d see crossing over into pro wrestling. Velasquez making a splash was a total surprise. But now that he’s in, maybe that means a dream team partnership - Velasquez and Cormier in the squared circle? “We’d kill it, we’d go out and kill it,” Velasquez said with a big smile. “We’d be the ultimate tag team. That to me would be super fun. Yes, I love that.”