Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez said his eight-month incarceration led to valuable perspective on his life.
Velasquez, whose attempted murder trial begins in January, reflected deeply on his jail experience during an interview on the JAXXON PODCAST. Nearly one year removed from his release on bail, he tried to make the most of his time.
“I went in – it was kind of like, for me, I took the opportunity,” Velasquez said. “I’ve never been alone, really, for a long time. I really need to be alone, take care of whatever. So they asked me if I wanted to go to [into protective custody], so I said let me go to PC, and let’s see what this is about, and go from there.
“I wasn’t trying to step on anybody’s toes, or not play with the program, or anything like that. I have no idea what the politics are. I got to know a little bit more, being in. Obviously, I have respect for everybody, and everybody’s living in their world and doing their thing. But I took the opportunity to be with myself for the time. It was good and bad, but it was mainly good. I believe a lot of people should experience something like that, like have their freedoms taken away, to appreciate what you have, and it’s the smallest of things that we take for granted.”
Velasquez was arrested in March 2022 after allegedly engaging in a high-speed car chase and shooting at the car of a man accused of molesting his four-year-old son at a daycare the man’s mother owns. The man’s stepfather was struck by gunfire during the chase and wounded. Police charged Velasquez with attempted murder and multiple gun charges that carry a potential sentence of 20 years or more if he’s convicted.
Velasquez was released on $1 million bail this past November and ordered to submit to GPS monitoring in addition to undergoing outpatient treatment for CTE. The judge in his case also issued a protective order that required him to stay away from the man accused of molesting his son, in addition to the man’s family. Prosecutors protested the decision, said Velasquez was “clear and convincing threat of danger.”
One month after his release, Velasquez returned to the pro-wrestling ring with the judges’ permission and thanked fans for their support. In pre-trial court dates, supporters of the former UFC heavyweight champ showed up in force, speaking out in favor of the retired MMA fighter.
In jail, Velasquez said he read several books and waxed philosophical about his environment and its effect on his mindset.
“We’re so blessed every day, and we’re so down on the dumbest things,” he said. “When s*** gets taken away, you realize, ‘Oh, I had all this, I had all this.’ I had the opportunity to just leave when I wanted to. Leave in my car and go outside, look at something, look at nature. Have the opportunity to go look at something like that and appreciate the day.
“Each day, we’re never really the same. Each moment, when you look at something, like a tree, something so small like that, that tree will never look like that, ever again, except for that moment that you’re looking at it. It will never be the same, how the leaves are, how the wind is blowing. If you want to go that deep, it will never be the same again, except for that one moment. So take the time, appreciate that moment was for you.
“So, little stuff like that. I started getting, whatever throughout the day, little wins. Something little, and I would just be grateful for that. Thankful for it. So it wasn’t like I was in a bad place. No, man. I’m here. I’m here. It doesn’t matter what this changes to. I’ve been poor. I’ve been at the top. It doesn’t matter what I see. I’m always here, and that’s all that matters, and it matters what I make of this, like how I feel inside is what matters.”
Below is Velasquez’s full interview.