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‘Money talks’ - Coach says MMA return is ‘possible’ for Cain Velasquez at 39

American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez isn’t ruling out an MMA return for Cain Velasquez.

Cain Velasquez looks on during his UFC Fight Night bout with Francis Ngannou in 2019.
Cain Velasquez looks on during his UFC Fight Night bout with Francis Ngannou in 2019.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It’s been nearly three years to the date since we last saw Cain Velasquez inside a UFC cage. The former heavyweight came back from a three-year layoff in early 2019 to face Francis Ngannou and lost via knockout inside 26 seconds of action.

That same year, Velasquez moved away from MMA competition for good and jumped into pro-wrestling. After a six-month stint with the WWE, he carried on with his sports-entertainment career under Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide, which he is still part of to this day.

There is no official word on whether or not the 39-year-old Velasquez had indeed closed his doors on MMA. But according to his long-time coach Javier Mendez, it can still happen.

“He’s got it if he wants it,” Mendez recently told MMA Junkie. “He’s got it. But I don’t know if he wants to come back. I don’t speak with him about those things.

“But it’s possible. If someone says, ‘Hey, here’s $2 million, let’s go fight,’ he might say, ‘Eh give me $4 (million) and I’ll do it.’

“I don’t know, but who knows – money talks most of the time. If the money is good and the UFC lets him, it’s possible that he may do it.”

Another factor that Mendez considers is age. Seeing how another one of his fighters in Daniel Cormier was able to fight on until the age of 41, he sees a potentially similar path for Velasquez.

“He does have more (in the tank) than what Daniel had,” Mendez said of Velasquez. “He’s not the same. Cain is not the same as when he was younger, but he does have more left than Daniel. He is younger – he’s not in his 40s.

“Remember, Daniel was (41) and he had a back surgery, and after the surgery, DC wasn’t the same. The years caught up to him. All the wear and tear and everything came to an end with him. In his mind, he was always a champion. With Daniel, his mind was always stronger than his body.”

Velasquez retired from MMA with a record of 14-3, which includes two title runs and two title defenses.