Velasquez, who currently faces a number of criminal charges including premeditated attempted murder, was granted bail on Tuesday, eight months after his initial arrest. After posting a $1 million bond, he was released from jail on Wednesday morning. His longtime friend and teammate Cormier spoke with the former champion and shared their conversation.
“We FaceTimed a little bit this morning,” Cormier told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “That’s my boy. I’m so happy. He’s home, laying on the couch with his kid, playing. I can’t wait to go home and see him. I’m happy for that man. ...
“He’s happy, because there were some times where he and I sat and we visited, and we’re just talking about life and what his life became in there. You’ve got to start to adjust. I think one of the most telling things that Cain told me when we were in there, he goes, ‘As I sit here and I’m eating this food and I’m taking stuff from the commissary and I’m trying to live, I think back to my pantry and I can’t imagine I can have any of this, whenever I want it.’
“We’re talking about pantries. Something you probably walk past every day in your house and take for granted, don’t even close the door on the pantry. He’s just like, ‘I can’t believe that when I was living [on the outside] I could have whatever I wanted, anytime I wanted, and it’s so much.’ Because it was so limited in there. So I’m just happy for him to be back.”
Cormier is far from alone. There was an outpouring of support for Velasquez when the bail ruling was announced, and Velasquez himself told KRON-4 upon his release that he felt “blessed” to finally be out. He told his supporters he intended to “make something positive of this terrible situation.”
But though the former UFC heavyweight champion is now home with his family, his legal struggles are far from over. Velasquez still faces multiple charges in his upcoming case, including attempted premeditated murder for allegedly engaging in a high-speed car chase with Harry Goularte, Patricia Goularte, and Paul Bender a firing several rounds from a .40-caliber handgun at their vehicle, ultimately hitting Bender, who suffered non-life threatening injuries. Harry Goularte is accused of sexually molesting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son at a daycare owned and operated by his mother; Goularte’s case is pending.
Given the charges, prosecutor Aaron French argued strenuously that Velasquez still presents “a clear and convincing threat of danger” to the community, an argument that previous Judge Shelyna Brown upheld in a previous bail request. New Judge Arthur Bocanegra was not as swayed by that argument, saying he was “not convinced” that Velasquez presents a danger to the alleged victims in his case nor to the public. But the judge noted specifically to Velasquez, “I hope you don’t prove me wrong.”
Cormier believes the judge has nothing to be concerned about in that regard.
“They switched judges, so now there’s a new judge and he said something to the effect of, ‘I hope you are as great a father as everybody says, and you will not do anything that puts you being with that family at risk,’” Cormier said. “And I don’t think for a second that he’s going to. I don’t think he will.”
Velasquez is due back in court Nov. 21 for the next hearing in his case.