Ex-UFC champ Cain Velasquez gets deep while recounting lessons from time in jail

The past year has been filled with turmoil for Cain Velasquez and his family.

The former UFC heavyweight champion spent over eight months in jail in 2022 after being charged with attempted murder of a man accused of molesting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son. This deeply unsettling situation deeply impacted the entire MMA community.

Velasquez, now free on bail, gained valuable insights during his time in Santa Clara County jail, insights that still resonate with him today.

“I used that time to be alone with myself – there were good moments and bad moments, but mostly good,” Velasquez shared on the JAXXON PODCAST. “I think everyone should experience having their freedoms taken away, so they can truly appreciate what they have. It’s the small things that we often take for granted.”

Velasquez is cherished by the MMA world and was once the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion in the early 2010s.

However, despite his professional success and global fame, Velasquez discovered in jail that it was the simple, everyday things that he truly valued.

“We are blessed each day, yet we get upset about insignificant things,” Velasquez explained. “When everything is stripped away, you realize what you had. The freedom to leave your home whenever you want, to admire nature. Just looking at a tree, appreciating each day and each moment. That tree will never look the same again, except for that one moment you’re observing it. So take the time to appreciate that. Those moments are meant for you. So, it’s the small things.”

Although Velasquez faced challenging circumstances and continues to deal with a difficult past that still affects him and his family, he considers his time in prison as a positive experience. It profoundly changed his perspective for the better.

“It wasn’t like I was in a bad place,” Velasquez reflected. “No, man. I’m here. I’m always here, no matter what my surroundings may be. I’ve experienced poverty and success. It doesn’t matter what I see; it’s always within me. What matters is how I make the most of it and what I feel inside. That’s what truly matters.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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