UFC Champions Pleads “Not Guilty” to Serious Charges

Former UFC star Cain Velasquez pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in a San Jose, California, courtroom on Friday.

According to Nolan King of MMA Junkie, Velasquez also faces charges of shooting at a motor vehicle or aircraft, assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle and carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony, stemming from a February shooting in which he allegedly fired multiple gunshots into a car containing three people.

Velasquez says Harry Goularte molested his four-year-old son, and while Velasquez allegedly attempted to shoot Goularte, he missed and hit Goularte’s stepfather, Paul Bender, in the shoulder.

At the time of the alleged shooting, Goularte was out of jail on bail after being arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a minor under the age of 14, per King.

Velasquez has been denied bail on three occasions, but he is in the midst of appealing the latest ruling.

His pre-trial hearing is set to begin on Sept. 26, and if Velasquez is ultimately convicted of attempted murder, he faces at least 20 years in prison and a maximum punishment of life in prison.

Cain Velazquez in Court

Meanwhile, Velasquez’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against Goularte and Bender, and a hearing in that case is scheduled for Sept. 6.

The 40-year-old Velasquez is best known for a professional MMA career that ran from 2006 until 2019.

Velasquez twice held the UFC heavyweight title, winning it from Brock Lesnar in 2010 and regaining it from Junior dos Santos in 2012.

During his career, Velasquez posted a 14-3 record with 12 wins by way of knockout and defeated the likes of Lesnar, dos Santos, Antonio Silva and Travis Browne, among other notable names.

After losing to Francis Ngannou in 2019, Velasquez attempted to transition into pro wrestling. He started with Mexican promotion AAA before signing with WWE in October 2019.

Velasquez’s run with WWE was short with his only notable match being a loss to Lesnar at Crown Jewel 2019 in Saudi Arabia.

He was released by WWE in April 2020 and returned to AAA, last competing in a trios match at Triplemania Regia II in December 2021.

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