Many of Cain Velasquez’s longtime teammates and friends continue to rally support for the former UFC heavyweight champion, who remains in jail for attempted murder and faces an arduous legal battle.
“Seeing his family not have him on a system that failed us is not fair – it sucks,” Luke Rockhold told MMA Fighting. “It’s not fair. Cain didn’t play a smart role in doing what he did, but the system is completely disgusting where they can allow a man like that to be free [and] flip [home].”
Rockhold, who once counted Velasquez as one of his closest teammates at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., did everything he could to draw attention to the situation. Velasquez was arrested in February after allegedly participating in a high-speed chase and firing multiple bullets from a .40 caliber handgun at a car carrying Harry Goularte, accused of assaulting his 4-year-old son. Goularte’s father-in-law, Paul Bender, was hit by a bullet during the alleged incident and was later treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
“Knowingly letting the guy go back to that situation once you molested children and release him back into the premises of a day care center where he lives, where he molested his children,” Rockhold continued. “Like, what the fuck? No bail? No bail and they allow a person to go back to that norm. It’s so pathetic how twisted our world is and how point things are pathetic need to be punished. [Pedophiles] need to be brought up in this situation, it’s just stupid.
Goularte was released after his arrest over prosecutors’ objections and pleaded not guilty to the felony charges against him. Rockhold thinks this is where the problem really started.
Velasquez was denied bail on his initial arraignment in March, and bail was denied again by Judge Shelyna Brown in May, as she condemned his actions as “reckless disregard for human life”. During the initial hearing, Velasquez received a number of letters written on his behalf, including one from UFC President Dana White.
Numerous friends, family members and teammates filled the courtroom during all of his hearings in the case.
Rockhold would like to see more attention paid to Velasquez’s ongoing legal battle, which is why he’s pushing for the UFC to induct the former heavyweight champion into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2022 class.
“I think Cain should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago,” Rockhold explained. “One of the very first. 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 bring more attention to the situation.
It doesn’t look like the UFC will make that call; the next induction ceremony is scheduled for July. But Rockhold still hopes a public push could earn Velasquez his place among the best fighters to ever compete inside the octagon.
“Cain for Hall of Fame 2022, let’s go,” Rockhold said. “Bring this up as much as possible and everyone can get behind it. Let’s show what Cain is.
Velasquez is due back in court on Friday when he appears before a judge for his plea hearing. If convicted on all counts, he faces 20 years to life in prison.