While fights continue each weekend, trash talk flies, and signings and extensions hit the headlines, one story has gripped the entire MMA and combat sport community in recent weeks.
Velasquez, a former two-time UFC heavyweight titleholder and widely-respected mixed martial artist, was arrested on February 28 for attempted, premeditated murder. The arrest and charge came after Velasquez allegedly pursued and intended on shooting a man named Henry Goularte, who’s accused of molesting one of Velasquez’s young relatives.
After reportedly shooting and injuring the man’s stepfather, Velasquez was arrested, charged, and later denied bail by Judge Shelyna Brown, much to the fury of his attorney and supporters.
In recent days and weeks, a host of fighters, pundits and personalities have flocked to support the former UFC star. Per ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, the likes of Dana White, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier, Scott Coker, Kamaru Usman, and Brandon Moreno have all penned letters of support for Velasquez to the Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Now, the UFC’s 145-pound kingpin has given his thoughts on the tragic incident. Like many, Volkanovski has highlighted what he perceives to be an injustice.
Volkanovski: Velasquez Case Shows The Law Can Be Pretty Messed Up
During an exclusive interview with MMA News, Volkanovski, who holds gold in the promotion Velasquez twice ruled in, suggested the Californian is paying a “crazy” price for his actions, something that he believes shows a clear double standard in how these cases are handled.
“Yeah, it is unfortunate. You see some people doing shit like that and they almost get (just) a slap on the wrist,” Volkanovski said during his conversation with James Lynch. “And then you see someone like that, who in the heat of the moment, you can see the emotions that would’ve been involved in something like that.
“Then he’s gonna be paying a crazy price, when these other guys get a slap on the wrist, which is just complete bullshit. Obviously, someone’s not gonna be thinking completely straight when some shit like that happens.”
While a host of names have spoken out against Velasquez’s detainment, perhaps the most prominent was the UFC President. Describing the incident as “horrible,” White claimed Velasquez simply did what everyone, especially parents, says they would in that situation.
According to Volkanovski, a father himself, White’s take was exactly right.
“This hits close to home. Anyone with a kid is gonna know. I think Dana hit the nail on the head,” Volkanovski further told MMA News. “He did exactly what everyone says that they would do if they were in that situation. That’s true. It’s ridiculous. Obviously, laws are laws, but, I mean, some things need to come into play.
“You can’t treat this as just a crazy act of madness. Let’s be real. He would’ve been emotionally unstable in that situation. That has to come into play, especially when your kid is involved… I’m hoping he doesn’t get in too much trouble for it. I don’t know. The law can be pretty messed up sometimes,” concluded Volkanovski.
If found guilty of the charges, Velasquez is facing 20 years in prison. His next court date is April 12, per court records.
Do you agree with Alexander Volkanovski’s take on the arrest and imprisonment of Cain Velasquez?