Since the announcement of Cain Velasquez’s attempted murder charge in Santa Clara County, California, fighters have begun showing support for him.
The former UFC heavyweight champion currently faces ten criminal charges, of which felony attempted murder is the most astonishing.
According to reports, 43-year-old Harry Goularte is alleged by law enforcement to have “inappropriately touched” a member of Velasquez’s family at a child care facility a few days before the shooting incident.
I would have done the same thing if not worse #freeCainVelasquez
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) March 3, 2022
Who Raised Cain?
According to reports, court documents show that Velasquez chased Goularte down with his family members in tow, ramming their vehicle with his black Ford F250. Velasquez eventually shot at Goularte’s car multiple times, authorities say.
Ultimately, Goularte’s stepdad was hit in the arm, although, according to reports, Velasquez’s target was Harry Goularte.
Since then, several current or former UFC fighters have spoken out to support Velasquez. Former UFC bantamweight champion-turned-WWE star Ronda Rousey went to Twitter proclaiming precisely what she would have done in the same position.
“I would have done the same thing if not worse #freeCainVelasquez”
No matter how badly you want to, people cannot take justice into their own hands.
— 𝕵𝖔𝖘𝖍𝖚𝖆 👤 (@JoshSalvation93) March 3, 2022
The People Clapback
Rousey’s comment was met with a mixed reaction of support for Velasquez and those who cautioned her for validating apparent vigilantism.
In addition, others commented that because Velasquez shot an innocent person in public where the threat to injuring more human life increases, the act was still reprehensible.
It begs the question: what is redeemable when someone violates your family in one of the worst ways possible? The issue was bad enough that a man who could easily beat up most people allegedly decided to shoot at the intended target.
Here's the issue: He shot at a vehicle carrying more than just the person CHARGED with committing the crime against his relative. He ended up hitting someone other than the alleged perpetrator. He just caused his family more pain by setting himself up for a prison sentence. Sad.
— L.O. Quint (@FrownyKick) March 3, 2022
FREE CAIN Movement
Other members from the MMA community have doubled down on their support for Velasquez. UFC middleweight fighter Derek Brunson began selling FREE CAIN VELASQUEZ T-shirts.
According to reports, Brunson is donating 50 percent of the proceeds to the legal fees of Velasquez.
A few high-profile family incidents involved murder in MMA in the past, but never an alleged attempted revenge-style incident.
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) March 2, 2022
Back in 2004, then newly minted UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort won the title by defeating Randy Couture via first-round knockout. However, that same year his sister Priscilla was kidnapped in their native Rio de Janeiro and never found again.
Additionally, UFC heavyweight Walt Harris had tragedy strike his family when his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard was kidnapped and murdered in their home state of Alabama in October 2019.
As a result, in 2021, Alabama lawmakers amended their constitution to allow judges to deny bail to accused violent offenders, a change called Aniah’s Law. The statute includes offenders of any violent crime, including murder, rape, and robbery.
The Polarizing Mr. Velasquez
Velasquez’s case has evolved into a polarizing issue of what is justifiable concerning “protecting your family.” Velasquez is a fighter, and his natural inclination is to run toward the fire, not away from it.
By taking justice into his own hands, does Velasquez deserve punishment when the alleged precipitating cause is harmful and emotionally gutting?
The case of Cain Velasquez will undoubtedly serve as a primer.
More news from our partners: