Report: Cain Velasquez retires from MMA, joins WWE
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / UFC / Getty

Former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez has notified the UFC of his retirement and signed a multi-year deal with WWE, sources told ESPN's Marc Raimondi.

Velasquez (14-2) will face Brock Lesnar at WWE's Crown Jewel on Oct. 31, the company confirmed Friday. The 37-year-old knocked out the WWE superstar in the first round at UFC 121 in October 2010 to capture the heavyweight title. In Velasquez's first on-screen WWE appearance, he confronted Lesnar on "SmackDown" last Friday.

WWE also announced Friday that boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will appear on the Oct. 31 card against Braun Strowman. Fury's match, however, is expected to be a one-off.

Velasquez fought 14 of his 16 career bouts with the UFC and made his promotional debut in April 2008 at UFC 83. The American Kickboxing Academy standout boasts victories over former champion Junior dos Santos (twice), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Lesnar. Plagued by injuries, Velasquez was limited to just three fights after 2013. He last competed earlier in 2019, suffering a first-round TKO loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC Phoenix.

The Californian has already been removed from the UFC's USADA drug-testing pool and the promotion's heavyweight rankings, according to Raimondi.

WWE Crown Jewel will take place at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Report: Cain Velasquez retires from MMA, joins WWE
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