Former UFC champions Luke Rockhold and Khabib Nurmagomedov are looking to do what they can to keep Cain Velasquez’s legal situation at the top of the MMA agenda.
Velasquez remains incarcerated following the alleged shooting that led to his arrest for attempted premeditated murder earlier this year. The incident, which took place on February 28, reportedly saw the former UFC heavyweight champion pursue a man named Harry Goularte who is accused of assaulting Velasquez’s four-year-old son.
Since his arrest, which came after he allegedly shot Goularte’s stepfather, Paul Bender, Velasquez has twice been denied bail, with Judge Shelyna Brown ruling that the release of the 39-year-old would pose too much danger. She also reminded Velasquez supporters that “the court is not ruled by community opinion at all… It’s ruled by law.”
Support is something Velasquez hasn’t lacked since his arrest, with a host of prominent mixed martial arts figures speaking out. Many, including UFC president Dana White and UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, have also sent letters calling for the MMA legend’s release.
One prominent name who has spoken out about the situation recently is veteran middleweight Luke Rockhold. During an interview with MMA Fighting, the Californian, who has a close relationship with Velasquez after training with him at the American Kickboxing Academy, called the legal system “completely disgusting”.
“It’s hard to watch your family grow,” Rockhold said. “After going through years of heartbreak and with the incredible times we have had, to see his family not having him on a system that has failed us is not fair. It sucks. It sucks, man. It’s not fair.
“Of course Cain didn’t play a smart role in doing what he did, but the system is just completely disgusting, until they can allow a man like that (Goularte) to be free… It’s so pathetic how twisted our world is, and how pathetic things are,” Rockhold added.
Rockhold also revealed his efforts to have Velasquez join fellow greats AKA Daniel Cormier and Khabib as a UFC 2022 Hall of Fame inductee.
The former middleweight champion believes Velasquez has more than earned a spot and called on fans to push for his induction, not only because of his storied career, but also to keep the court case on the surface.
“I reached out to try and get Cain (into the UFC Hall of Fame),” Rockhold revealed. “Everyone knows, what is the delay? What is the deadline? Just because you’re relevant or in their (UFC) headspace do you get the hall of fame? I think Cain should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago, one of the very first. I mean, he’s one of the baddest and greatest champions of all time.
“I was trying to push for him to get his Hall of Fame nomination this year to get more attention there, which I think we should all push for. I think Cain should get more attention. attention to the situation,” Rockhold continued. “If we can’t save Cain, we can save the futures of these fucking bulls…Cain for the Hall of Fame…Let’s bring this to the surface as much as we can…show what is Cain.”
New HOF inductee Khabib shares Rockhold sentiment
Rockhold isn’t the only one of Velasquez’s American Kickboxing Academy teammates to seek induction into the UFC Hall of Fame.
On Thursday in Las Vegas, former lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov joined the HOFers roster as a 2022 inductee. During a red carpet media scrum, ‘The Eagle’ was asked who, according to he, deserved a place at his side, to which he responded by co-signing Rockhold’s earlier remarks.
“I think, 100%, it must be Cain Velasquez, who is in prison. It’s not fair,” Khabib said. “Cain Velasquez deserves it.”
Do you agree with Luke Rockhold and Khabib Nurmagomedov? Should Cain Velasquez be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame?