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American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez has not spoken much publicly on the arrest of one of his prime fighters, Cain Velasquez.
Mendez frequently has posted his support for Velasquez on Instagram since the Feb. 28 arrest and has voiced optimism for bail. But in a recent interview with Submission Radio, Mendez went in depth on the topic for the first time publicly.
Mendez trained Velasquez throughout his rise to becoming UFC heavyweight champion in 2010 and through his final fight in 2019. One of Velasquez’s closest confidants, Mendez can’t wrap his head around what he considers to be inconsistencies in the way California – where Velasquez is being held – has handled legal proceedings.
“At the present time that I know of, there’s really nothing other than the judicial system to do their job,” Mendez said. “Hopefully he can get bail soon so he can he be with his family while they work to fight the legal issues that he’s facing. Let’s see what happens. It’s sad that California is doing what they’re doing.
“They let an alleged pedophile out when someone like Cain, who did something that the system was not doing, and now he’s the one that can’t be let out. But the other guy is out, free as a bird. It makes zero sense to me. I speak to so many law officers that are involved, and they all think it’s a bunch of bullsh*t what’s happening to him. And it is. But let the system work itself, and let’s pray he gets what is deserved coming to him, which is freedom.”
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Velasquez, 40, currently faces a handful of charges, the most serious of which is attempted murder, after he allegedly shot a man in a vehicle while targeting another man. If convicted of attempted murder, Velasquez faces 20 years to life in prison. He has yet to enter a plea and has been denied bail three times, including as recently as July 11. Meanwhile, his alleged targetet, Harry Goularte, who is accused of molesting Velasquez’s 4-year-old son, is out on bail.
While Velasquez has largely remained quiet, albeit expect for a couple of written statements on social media, Mendez was able to speak with the former UFC heavyweight champion recently and said he still had a positive attitude despite an imprisonment that has lasted nearly 150 days and counting.
“I was able to speak with him,” Mendez said. “I went in with his wife about three weeks ago, so I was able to speak with him and see him. He’s in good spirits. He’s the same Cain. I’m sure there are ups and downs when he’s in there, but when I saw him, he was in good spirits.”
Velasquez, 40, is due back in court for a motion hearing Aug. 5 in Santa Clara County superior court. He also has a plea hearing scheduled for Aug. 19. Meanwhile, Goularte, who pled not guilty in June to one charge of lewd acts with a child, awaits a Sept. 20 pre-trial hearing.
A civil lawsuit filed by the Velasquez family against Goularte, Goularte’s family, and their associated business has a hearing set for Sept. 5. Only Paul Bender, Goularte’s stepfather, has responded to summons at the time of this publication.