Francis Ngannou took only 26 seconds to TKO Cain Velasquez at UFC Phoenix. It was pretty clear that Velasquez had suffered a knee injury just as Ngannou knocked him out. In fact, Velasquez said that his body gave out due to his knee buckling, and not the TKO.
Talking at Stick Arena in Phoenix, Velasquez said:
“He didn’t even, like, touch me. It was just the knee. As soon as I felt the knee buckle, it was like I couldn’t believe that happened, and that was it.”
During the news conference, Velasquez pointed that his meniscus and medial collateral ligament (MCL) were the source of the injury. He didn’t blame Jason Herzog (referee) for stepping in at the 0:26 mark of the opening frame.
“The ref saw my knee buckle. His job is to make sure we’re 100 percent safe, and he did that. The ref did the correct job tonight.”
Cain Velasquez, who has been out of action for last three years due to injuries, lost his way once again due to injury. It was sad for the former UFC heavyweight champ, who had trained hard to be back in the octagon.
“Knowing what I did the past three years and two months getting ready for this camp, I felt ready, the octagon was the place I needed to be, and I felt great coming back. I felt great in there with him, and again, the freak accident of the knee popping out, it’s frustrating.”
“We’ll get it all checked out. The fire’s strong in me again still. I guess I’ve got a lot to prove, and I’m very capable of doing that.”
Velasquez had shared apprehensions earlier that a loss could lead to his retirement. However, he was cautious about making any definitive decisions.
“We’ll see what happens. I go into everything and I do it at my best ability. I feel like if I can be the best, I really won’t do it, and that’s not the case with this whole camp. It’s just something that happened. It’s frustrating more to the people out watching me. They expect a lot from me, and I expect even more from myself.”
After his loss, Cain Velasquez, a former standout wrestler, told a friendly crowd:
“I saw all the shots Francis was throwing. I saw his speed, and it looked a lot faster on video than being in there. Seeing his timing, I felt great. I felt like I could get inside. I turned him back to the cage, and my knee gives out.”