Cain Velasquez Knocked Out By Francis Ngannou In 26 Seconds At UFC Fight Night [VIDEO]
Cain Velasquez returned to the octagon on Friday night. The two-time UFC heavyweight champion had left the sport on a high, knocking out Travis Brown on July 9, 2016, at UFC 200. His return was heavily awaited.
“When Cain was in his prime, it was the greatest thing to watch somebody do,” said trainer Javier Mendez. Only Velasquez wasn’t in his prime.
Before his matchup with Francis Ngannou, the main event of UFC on ESPN 1, there were no questions about Velasquez. Yes, he had taken off time to recuperate injuries and raise his son. But he was a two-time world champion. Velasquez felt he could beat anyone one on one.
Then things got off to a poor start. He lacked a step, first missing on a kick to the head and then failing on a takedown against the cage. When he went for his second maneuver, Ngannou connected on a short uppercut on the inside while Velasquez’s knee buckled. He tumbled to the mat.
The former champ cowered down while the Cameroonian-French fighter known as “The Predator” went to work. Strikes landed on Cain. Referee Jason Herzog realized the fight was well over and that Valezquez had little chance to recover. He pushed Ngannou off him and waved the fight.
Fans at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona left disappointed. It took only 20 seconds for Valesquez to collapse. Six more seconds went by until Herzog called the fight. Velasquez had little chance to gain the advantage with his famed cardiovascular strength. Ngannou could’ve held his breath for the entirety of the fight and still have won.
After the match, Valesquez sat down for a press conference.
“I just can’t believe that happened,” he said. “I had a great camp coming in. Truly, everything I said before about how strong I felt, that was all true. I felt great out there, relaxed and then taking that one step with my left foot, something popped and then when I tried to take another step, it gave out on me, my knee just gave out on me. I can’t even believe that happened.”
“Going in I was 100 percent healthy, 100 percent ready and just to have this freak accident, I can’t even believe it. It’s just hard. But that’s sports. That’s what we do. That’s what happens sometimes. It’s just really frustrating,” Velasquez added.
When asked about the fight and his injuries, Cain said: “It was just the knee, yeah. He didn’t even touch me. It was just the knee. As soon as I felt the knee buckle, I couldn’t believe that happen and then that was it.”
Here’s the full fight below: