Cain Velasquez has issued a statement regarding his retirement from the Ultimate Fighting Championship to transition to a professional wrestling career.
Last week, it was reported that the former heavyweight champion was retiring from MMA to sign with World Wrestling Entertainment. Velasquez addressed the move Monday on social media.
To the UFC, my family, friends, and all the fans, thank you for the past 11 years. Thank you to all my coaches, teammates and agents. I am so blessed to have been able to have a career doing something I absolutely love. I knew from the time I was a junior in college I wanted to be a fighter and after graduating from college, I set off on my journey of becoming a fighter with the goal of being UFC Heavyweight champion. There are few people in this world that can say they have achieved what I have, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities and position I held being a part of the UFC. With my official retirement from the UFC, it’s time for the next chapter.
A year ago, when I went to my first WWE show, I fell back in love with a sport that I had watched and participated in since I was a child. From that moment, I have been doing a crash course on all things that relate to pro wrestling. I’ve been training at different gyms, going to shows and watching more matches then (sic) I would like to admit, but I can honestly say I eat, sleep and breathe (sic) wrestling now. The contract is signed and I’m on my way to my next goal which is Universal Champion.
WWE Universe, thank you for welcoming me with open arms.
Velasquez was plagued by injuries throughout his MMA career. He returned to action after a more than two-and-a-half years away at UFC on ESPN 1, where he suffered a 26-second knockout loss to Francis Ngannou. Velasquez recently appeared on WWE Smackdown, where he had a brief scuffle with former UFC foe Brock Lesnar. Velasquez is expected to face Lesnar at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudia Arabia on Oct. 31.