Surprise Appearance On SmackDown Leads To WWE Crown Jewel Match For Cain Velasquez

Valasquez made a shocking debut on SmackDown's premiere on FOX

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Image via WWE

A UFC rivalry is set to continue in the WWE with the announcement that Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez will be clashing in a WWE ring during WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this October 31.

One of the biggest surprises on the premiere of SmackDown on Fox was the appearance of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Velasquez. Velasquez, accompanied by Rey Mysterio, went down to the ring near the end of the show to confront and brawl with Lesnar who had just won the WWE Championship.

Lesnar and Velasquez have a long and storied history dating back to when they were both in the UFC. During the last confrontation between the two in 2010, Velasquez beat Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight title.

The storyline leading up Velasquez’s appearance has Mysterio bringing Velasquez to the WWE after Lesnar attacked both Mysterio and his son, Dominick, during the September 30 episode of RAW.

In an interview given with Renee Young, Velasquez said he’s in the WWE for some payback against Lesnar.

Despite Velasquez’ involvement in a major WWE storyline, however, ESPN is reporting that he hasn’t officially signed a WWE contract and has not officially retired from the UFC.

MMA Junkie, however, is reporting that Velasquez has really decided to move from MMA to pro wrestling. He has informed UFC officials that he intends to withdraw from the US Anti-Doping Agency testing pool. By doing so, he will effectively retire from being an active MMA competitor.

Velasquez’s potential career shift to pro wrestling began back in 2018 when he was reportedly in talks with the WWE and even had a tryout at the Performance Center. He then signed a short-term deal with AAA, which saw him appearing on two of their shows in August and September of this year.

Whether he will sign a WWE contract before or after Crown Jewel, or go to another wrestling promotion such as AEW, remains to be seen.