This weekend, Cain Velasquez makes his return to the UFC Octagon after yet another prolonged time away from the sport of mixed martial arts.
At one time, Velasquez was considered one of, if not the, greatest heavyweight of all time in mixed martial arts before frequent injuries and a desire to stay at home with his family pushed him out of the spotlight and away from the conversation in the heavyweight title picture.
Now, Velasquez is set to meet Francis Ngannou in the main event of the UFC’s first ever show on ESPN, with the winner likely being cemented as a title contender. But while Velasquez has returned to fighting, it wasn’t always a sure thing. Speaking at a media lunch today, the former champion said he was more than content with his life outside the sport, and should negotiations with the UFC not have panned out, he would have simply walked away.
“It all had to make sense as well for me to come back,” Velasquez said. “Again, it takes a lot out of me from a training aspect. But I love it. I love what I do, I love to go out there and train. I love to train with high intensity. I’m so competitive. I’m so competitive in just my daily life, that’s just how I am. Even when I go in to train, I try to back off a little bit. It’s just the competitiveness in me. To go out there and to win, even in small things. It’s good and bad, but again when everything goes right then you get the best Cain out there.”
“I always thought about it,” he expanded. “Just me and my family, we’ve talked about it. My wife and I. Again, if it didn’t make sense, I’d be able to walk away and I would be OK with that. There is life after fighting. It’s all about that. I have kids now. It’s all about that longevity. It just had to all make sense. It has.”