The last year or so has been tumultuous for Cain Velasquez and his family.
The former UFC heavyweight champion was arrested and put in jail for over eight months in 2022 for attempted murder charges on a man accused of molesting Velasquez's 4-year-old son. It was all around a horrible situation that moved the entire MMA community.
Now free on bail, Velasquez can take away major lessons from his time in the Santa Clara County jail. Lessons he carries today with him.
“I took the opportunity to be with myself at the time – it was good and bad, but mainly good,” Velasquez said on the JAXXON PODCAST. “I believe a lot of people should experience something like that, like have their freedoms taken away, to appreciate what you have, and it's the smallest things that we take for granted.”
Velasquez is one of the most beloved figures in the MMA world. He was also at one point the baddest man on the planet when he reigned as UFC heavyweight champion in the early 2010s.
Yet, despite being widely successful and on top of the world in his profession, Velasquez learned to appreciate the little things, not lavish things, in his time in jail.
“We're so blessed every day, and we're down on the dumbest things,” Velasquez explained. ‘When sh*t gets taken away, you realize, ‘Oh, I had all this and this.' I had the opportunity to just leave when I want to. Get in my car and go outside, look at nature. Have the opportunity to go look at something like that and appreciate the day. Each day, each moment, just looking at a tree, something so small like that. That tree will never look like that ever again except that moment that you're looking at it. It will never be the same. How the leaves are, how the wind is blowing. It will never be the same, except for that one moment. So take the time and appreciate, that moment was for you. So, little stuff like that.”
Although Velasquez was in tough circumstances, and still has to live, along with his family, with a rough past that's very much present today, Velasquez sees his time in prison as mainly positive. It changed his perspective for the better.
“It wasn't like I was in a bad place,” Velasquez said. “No, man. I'm here. I'm here. It doesn't matter what (my surroundings) change to. I've been poor. I've been at the top. It doesn't matter what I see. It's always here. I'm always here. It matters what I make of this, what I feel inside. That's what matters.”