Ex-UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez released by WWE

Cain Velasquez
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 11: Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez attends a WWE news conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Velasquez will face WWE champion Brock Lesnar and WWE wrestler Braun Strowman will take on heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury at the WWE's Crown Jewel event at Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Upon the breakthrough of the coronavirus pandemic, the WWE released a ‘COVID-19 business update‘ to inform fans of a series of wide-ranging cuts to the organisation. Today, on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer revealed that, amongst others, Cain Velasquez was released from the organisation.

Cain Velasquez Released by WWE

Meltzer cited the fact that Velasquez was one of a number of wrestlers on a large, multi-year deal as the reason for his release. Those on such lucrative contracts will be amongst the fighters whose jobs are in acute danger.

Velasquez made his first appearance in the WWE last October, on the premiere episode of SmackDown on Fox. The American Kickboxing Academy product made his WWE debut in a world title match losing to fellow ex-MMA fighter Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. Velasquez being handed a loss so early in his WWE career was perhaps the first warning sign for his short-lived career. It was evident that he had been introduced into the organisation to further hype Lesnar, and after the loss, there were many questions as to where his WWE story would go from there. In hindsight, it is not a huge surprise that Velasquez was released in response to the crisis.

Two-time heavyweight champion Velasquez (14-3) first claimed UFC gold after beating Brock Lesnar at UFC 121. After losing his belt to Junior dos Santos in his first title defence, Velasquez won the belt back from his rival in their rematch at UFC 155. The pair engaged in a historic trilogy, with Velasquez beating dos Santos via Knockout in the fifth round at UFC 166 to end their rivalry.

Cain Velasquez featured on Sucka Radio in 2016 and discussed both his acting career and his future aspirations in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. Check out the episode here.

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