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Ex-UFC champ Velasquez to enter pro wrestling

Cain Velasquez (Photo/Getty/Zuffa LLC)

Cain Velasquez, who made the move from amateur wrestling champion to become a two-time heavyweight champ for UFC, is now set to make another career change ... this time to pro wrestling, for the Mexican promotion AAA.

The former Sun Devil mat star announced Tuesday that he will be making his pro ring debut at AAA's annual TripleMania supershow on August 3.

The 36-year-old Velasquez, who is still under UFC contract, is scheduled to appear in a TripleMania match against an opponent still to be determined. The Sun Devil mat alum made it clear in a press conference that he will be involved in an actual match, not just to make a brief appearance in the ring.

AAA, which is one of the biggest pro wrestling promotions in Mexico, has had TripleMania supershows dating back to 1993. Triplemania XXVII will take place at the Mexico City Arena this summer for the eighth straight year.

Velasquez launched his professional mixed martial arts career in December 2006. He first won the UFC heavyweight championship in 2010 by knocking out Brock Lesnar, current WWE Universal champion, and 2000 NCAA heavyweight champ for the University of Minnesota. Velasquez won the UFC title a second time in 2012 when he defeated Junior dos Santos by a unanimous decision, after losing the belt to dos Santos a year earlier. The 6'1", 241-pound Velasquez, with a 14-3 pro MMA record, lost his last UFC fight in February. Prior to that latest loss, he had last entered the Octagon two-and-a-half-years earlier because of injuries and other challenges.

Prior to becoming a major figure in MMA, Velasquez made a name for himself on the wrestling mat. He was a two-time Arizona high school state wrestling champ who started his collegiate career at Iowa Central Community College, where he won the 2002 NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) heavyweight title. Velasquez then transferred to Arizona State where he was a 2005 Pac-10 conference champ, then went on to earn NCAA Division I All-America honors by placing fifth at the 2005 NCAAs. He was welcomed into the Arizona State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.

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