Velasquez, who held the UFC’s heavyweight gold for two stints between 2010-2011 and 2012-2015, was arrested late last month and charged with attempted premeditated murder.
In the incident, which took place in San Jose, California, Velasquez is accused of pursuing an individual named Henry Goularte, who’d been released one week prior to the February 28 events after reportedly molesting a relative of Velasquez.
After ramming Goularte’s vehicle following an 11-mile chase, Velasquez is accused of shooting the stepfather of his intended victim. The 38-year-old was recently denied bail after being deemed too high risk by Judge Shalyna Brown.
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Tuivasa, who has trained with Velasquez at San Jose’s American Kickboxing Academy, praised the Salinas-born star as a “great guy” who’s always willing to help the up-and-comers in the gym.
“He’s such a great guy. In real life, he’s always in the gym, he’s always helping the younger guys, always helping the amateurs,” said Tuivasa. “I don’t know. Things take over.”
Like others, “Bam Bam,” who is currently in the midst of his own push for UFC gold, also gave a firm opinion on how he wished the incident had unfolded.
“I wish he got the guy in the head.”
Tuivasa Isn’t The Only MMA Personality To Show Support
With their MMA peer potentially facing 20 years in jail if found guilty, a number of fighters, pundits, and big names in the sport have come out in support of Velasquez, who is widely regarded as one of the most gifted heavyweights in UFC history.
As well as sending personal messages and thoughts on the incident on social media and in interviews, the likes of UFC President Dana White, lightweight legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, and former two-division titleholder Henry Cejudo, along with over 30 others, have penned letters calling for Velasquez’s release.
In the same vein as Tuivasa, color commentator and renowned podcast host Joe Rogan wished Goularte hadn’t have escaped the incident unharmed.
“My only wish is that he just ran the car off the road, pulled that guy out of the f*cking car, and beat him to death. F*ck you,” he said during an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience.
What are your thoughts on the Cain Velasquez case?