UFC president Dana White has issued a character reference for his former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
The letter, which was obtained by MMA Junkie and was directed to the judge of the Santa Clara Superior Court, comes amid ongoing legal turmoil being faced by Velasquez who was arrested in California on attempted murder charges in February after he allegedly pursued in a vehicle and shot a firearm at a man accused of abusing a close relative of the 39-year-old heavyweight. During the incident, Velasquez is understood to have shot another occupant of the car, who received non-life threatening injuries to his arm.
Velasquez faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
The incident has shocked the MMA community, with many friends and associates of Velasquez supporting him online, leading to the ‘Free Cain’ movement which has called for the California legal system to take the specific details of the case into account.
Velasquez was denied bail for a third time recently and is due again in court on August 5 ahead of an August 19 plea hearing.
Dana White’s letter to the Santa Clara Superior Court, which was sent in March, can be read below.
March 4, 2022
To the honorable judge of the Santa Clara Superior Court,
I write this reference in full knowledge of Cain Velasquez’s current charges of attempted murder and assault. I was stunned to learn of these charges against him, as they are completely out of character for the man I was proud to say was a two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion.
I (Dana White) have known Mr. Velasquez for more than 15 years, and during his time as an active athlete with UFC, he represented our company with dignity and always treated others with respect. He was a model example of how a professional athlete should carry himself, projecting a positive image to UFC’s fanbase. Mr. Velasquez was extremely professional and went above and beyond to make a connection with our fans and promote the sport of mixed martial arts — not only as an entertainment product, but also as a character-building discipline.
As a Mexican American, Mr. Velasquez was proud of his heritage and never passed up an opportunity to visit Mexico on behalf of our company and demonstrate his gratitude
to the Mexican fans for their support.
People who know him best describe him as a humble, soft-spoken man who was very much dedicated t0 his family, including his wife and his two children.
If given the opportunity, I’m sure Mr. Velasquez would like nothing more than to return to his family and continue to make a positive impact on his community.
I sincerely ask that you take this into consideration as you adjudicate next steps in this process concerning Mr. Velasquez.
lf you wish for me to confirm any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.