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Cain Velasquez says pro wrestling is ‘fun’ but plans to fight again: ‘That door is always open’

Despite his budding pro wrestling career, Cain Velasquez hasn’t closed the door on MMA.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Phoenix- Ngannou vs Velasquez Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez might be in the early stages of a promising pro wrestling career, but returning to the Octagon is always on his mind.

Velasquez, who last competed in MMA in January when he lost to Francis Ngnanou, recently crossed over to pro wrestling. He made his debut at TripleMania, a major show for the Mexico-based Lucha Libre AAA promotion, last month in Mexico City.

Velasquez is set to make his U.S. debut on Sunday at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theatre in New York City. He will also wrestle Oct. 13 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Both events are being put on by AAA.

While he may be focused on his young pro wrestling career for now, Velasquez told Bloody Elbow that he plans to fight in MMA again — he just doesn’t know when or whom against.

“The door is not closed,” Velasquez said. “I’m always thinking about it. I definitely would like to fight again for sure. I don’t know when, but that door is always open. I’m still going to the gym and training, even though it’s not like I’m training for a fight.

“Right now I’m just having so much fun doing the pro wrestling, so we’ll see what happens. But as far as right now, I do plan on fighting again.”

Velasquez’s agent Mike Fonseca told Bloody Elbow that he has been in “constant communication” with the UFC since the Ngannou fight and that both sides are “on the same page” regarding Velasquez’s return.

Velasquez’s enthusiasm surrounding pro wrestling makes it obvious that it’s the right fit for him. He said he had “so much fun” in his August debut. Velasquez said that how much fun — and success — he has as a pro wrestler moving forward could directly impact whether he fights in MMA again.

“That just has to depend on myself growing in the sport — being really comfortable with it, working over different techniques, and being a well-rounded pro wrestler,” Velasquez said. ... “It’s crazy how fun this could be. I never would’ve expected it.”

Velasquez’s friend and teammate Daniel Cormier, the former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, has often talked about retiring on his own terms. Cormier, 40, said last month before his rematch with Stipe Miocic that he doesn’t want to be forced to step away. He wants to retire on top, or close to it.

Velasquez shares a similar mindset to Cormier. His career, especially the latter part of it, has been plagued by injuries. Before returning earlier this year against Ngannou, Velasquez hadn’t competed in the UFC since July 2016.

Some believe Velasquez’s best days are behind him. While that may be true, Velasquez said he plans to compete until he knows he’s not the fighter he used to be.

“If I can perform and train like I did when I first started and the quality of the fighter I am is still up to that high level like I expect it to be, I will keep doing it,” Velasquez said. “But when I can’t do it to the point that I once did, then I’ll redirect things.

“As of right now, I feel like I still can go out there and perform well, at the highest level. But once that point comes where it’s not there, then obviously that’s when you have to look at your whole career — that’s the time you need to step away.”

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