In a surprising turn of events, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will be stepping into the ring as a licensed corner for Bellator MMA lightweight champion Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 300. The news was confirmed by the California State Athletic Commission executive director, Andy Foster. While many would expect this to be a positive and exciting development for the sport, it raises questions due to Velasquez’s current legal situation.
It is important to note that Velasquez, at the age of 40, is currently out on $1 million bail as he awaits a criminal trial on attempted murder and gun-related charges. These charges stem from an incident that occurred in Santa Clara, California where Velasquez allegedly chased down a man named Harry Goularte in his vehicle and shot at him. The reason behind this violent act was that Goularte is being charged with sexually assaulting Velasquez’s young son at a day care center. Velasquez pleaded not guilty to these charges in August and spent eight months in jail before being granted bail.
Given the serious nature of the allegations against Velasquez, it is questionable that he has been granted a license to corner Nurmagomedov at Bellator 300. This decision raises concerns about the integrity of the sport and the message it sends to the fans and aspiring fighters. While everyone deserves their day in court and the presumption of innocence, the fact that Velasquez is currently awaiting trial on such severe charges should have been taken into consideration when deciding on his licensing.
Cain Velasquez was undeniably one of the most respected athletes in the UFC during his prime years between 2010 and 2013. He claimed the UFC’s heavyweight championship in a dominant victory over Brock Lesnar at UFC 121 in October 2010 and went on to become a two-time champion. However, his career took a downturn, and he retired from the sport in 2019. While his retirement was perceived as a graceful exit from the octagon, the recent developments in his personal life have tarnished his legacy.
On the other side of this story is Usman Nurmagomedov, the younger brother of retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Usman has an impressive undefeated record of 17-0 and is widely regarded as one of the top fighters outside of the UFC. He is set to defend his Bellator lightweight title against Brent Primus in the main event of Bellator 300. While Nurmagomedov’s skills and achievements deserve recognition, his association with Velasquez raises questions about the company he keeps.
The decision to license Cain Velasquez as a corner for Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 300 is a controversial one. Velasquez’s pending criminal trial for attempted murder and gun-related charges casts a dark shadow over the event and raises concerns about the integrity of the sport. While it is important to separate an athlete’s personal life from their professional achievements, the severity of the charges against Velasquez cannot be ignored. As the MMA community eagerly awaits the outcome of his trial, it remains to be seen what impact this decision will have on the reputation of the sport and the athletes involved.