Pro Wrestling/MMA News: Cain Velasquez meets with New Japan officials
The likes of Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock, Josh Barnett and Brock Lesnar have all made huge splashes in the world of MMA. They've also all had varying degrees of success in pro wrestling. Even the Baddest Woman on the Planet, Ronda Rousey, had a highly-successful run recently in WWE.
Another name might be permanently added to that list. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez made his pro wrestling debut earlier this Summer with AAA in Mexico. He was victorious in his match, and according to Marc Raimondi of ESPN, it appears that Velasquez could be making the move to pro wrestling a permanent one. Raimondi reports that the former Champ recently met with officials from New Japan Pro Wrestling.
His next promotion or just his next match?
Since his pro debut for AAA at TripleMania earlier this year was met with praise from many across the industry, it appears that the former Heavyweight Champ might be looking to continue his new career.
He is 37 years old but is still in athletic shape in order to compete in the world of pro wrestling. While he will wrestle again for AAA or and could even work with All Elite Wrestling since he partnered with Cody at the event, it appears that he's at least considering NJPW.
Raimondi's report doesn't specify when his next two matches with AAA will be, so he is clearly considering his options all over the world. If he joins NJPW in some capacity, he would follow former MMA fighters like Lesnar, Barnett and Bob Sapp as those who competed in MMA and in NJPW.
Moving on from MMA?
Velasquez certainly isn't the first MMA fighter to either partially or fully make the transition from MMA to pro wrestling. The aforementioned names did so at various times in the last 25 years. Current NXT stars Shayna Baszler and Matt Riddle did exactly what Velasquez might be trying to do. Both former fighters were so perfect for the industry that they were eventually signed by the WWE and NXT.
While Riddle didn't have any titles from MMA to fall back on, Velasquez did amass a 14-3 record and a win over Lesnar to capture the UFC Heavyweight title. In his last three bouts, he is 1-2 with a TKO win over Travis Browne. His two losses were at the hands of Fabricio Werdum in by submission in 2015 and earlier this year to Francis Ngannou. Ngannou knocked Velasquez out in the first round.