This Sunday on the UFC’s first main card on ESPN, the event will be capped off with a primetime heavyweight slugout between former world heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou. Prior to this bout being signed, many doubted whether or not we would ever see Cain Velasquez compete ever again. After all, Velasquez had not competed in over two years prior to the bout being signed and has had a career riddled with injuries. This time, however, the biggest factor holding up Velasquez’s return was not health, but business.
Speaking to reports at a UFC Phoenix media day Tuesday (Feb. 12), Velasquez disclosed just how close he was to walking away if the new contract was not to his liking (Transcript via MMA Fighting):
“I always thought about it,” Velasquez said. “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.
“It all had to make sense as well for me to come back,” Velasquez said at a media day Tuesday. “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.”
Did you believe we would see Cain Velasquez back in the Octagon again during his most recent hiatus?