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Former WWE and MMA fighter Alberto Del Rio shares his thoughts on Cain Velasquez’s upcoming lucha libre debut

Velasquez is set to make his pro wrestling debut at AAA’s TripleMania event in August. Here’s what he needs to watch out for, according to veteran Del Rio.

To say Cain Velasquez’s long-awaited UFC return went poorly would be an understatement.

The former UFC heavyweight champ stepped back into the cage after nearly three years away from the sport, only to get knocked out in 26 seconds by human wrecking ball Francis Ngannou. To add injury to that insult, Velasquez’s knee also gave out during the fight. What was supposed to signal the Return of Cain instead has us accepting the reality that his best days are probably behind him.

For now, Velasquez is keeping quiet regarding the knee and his UFC future. But he is keeping busy, announcing his lucha libre debut in Mexico’s AAA pro wrestling promotion. His first match with the promotion comes on August 3rd, and everyone is very interested in seeing how he’ll fare. MMA/Wrasslin’ crossover star Alberto Del Rio knows more than a little about the significant differences between the two sports and laid out the potential pitfalls facing Velasquez.

“He respects wrestling,” Del Rio said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “He has the right attitude, he is sincere in wanting to learn. Whether that will translate, we don’t know, but he’s doing and saying all the right things.”

While Del Rio is hoping for the best, you never really know how someone will go over with the crowd until they’re out there doing their thing.

“Velasquez has all the athletic credentials,” he said. “Wrestling is more difficult than people know, and it’s hard physically, but Cain has the athletic pedigree to do the job in the ring. In mixed martial arts, the promoters like to sell fights with big personalities. But you can become a star simply by winning all your fights and being impressive in the cage and becoming a champion and make the fans want to see your fights that way.”

“But in wrestling, you have to have a charisma that connects with the audience in a different way. The promoter can have you go out and lose every single night, but if the audience believes in your character and your personality, you can still become a star anyway.”

Velasquez will certainly have his work cut out for him. His debut is on AAA’s big TripleMania card, Mexican wrestling world’s WrestleMania. And while the fighting may be fake, the physical wear and tear from pro wrestling can be very real. Here’s hoping Velasquez lasts longer than 26 seconds without his knees exploding on him.

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