When Francis Ngannou knocked out Cain Velasquez at UFC on ESPN 1 in February, no one knew how it happened. Some said it was the uppercut by Ngannou that ended it. While others said it was his knee-buckling that ended the fight. There were no clear answers.
To make matter worse, after the fight, Francis Ngannou said it was the knockout, while Cain Velasquez blamed the knee.
“I just can’t believe that happened,” Velasquez said after the fight. “Having a great camp coming in, truly, everything I said, how strongly I felt, that was all true. Coming in I felt great out there, relaxed, and then taking that one step I did with my left foot. I just felt something pop and then when I tried to take another step it just gave out on me. My knee gave out on me, I can’t even believe that happened.”
“Going in 100 percent healthy. 100 percent ready and just to have this freak accident, I can’t even believe it. It’s just hard,” Velasquez said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “That’s sports, that’s what we do. That’s what happens sometimes. It’s just really frustrating because the fire in me is strong, stronger than ever. In camp, great camp, great camp. And then this happens.”
He later added that it was the knee and that he beat himself not Ngannou beating him.
“It was just the knee, he didn’t even, like, touch me, you know?” Velasquez said. “It was just the knee, as soon as I felt the knee just buckle, it was like I couldn’t believe that happened. And then that was it. Going in for his leg, I felt he kind of clubbed me on the back of the head. But that didn’t graze me at all,” Velasquez continued. “None of the punches grazed me at all or did anything to myself where I felt like I was unbalanced or anything. Just getting in on the inside and it was just a freak thing that happened with my knee.”
Now, however, Cain Velasquez is walking back on it. He now admits he was knocked out and it was not the knee injury that ended the fight against Francis Ngannou.
“The second punch when I went in for that takedown, the one that was kind of behind the ear, I was out on my feet, and I didn’t know it at the time. I was out on my feet and as I wake up, I’m falling down, and then kind of the pain from the knee on the way down is what woke me up. So, I was out on my feet on the way down, the knee woke me up,” said Velasquez. “I thought oh my knee gave out like a freak accident.
“I had a look at the tape where he hit me, going into the takedown, the last thing I remember is feeling the back of his knee with my left hand, that is the last thing I remember. That is like I’m in, I’m in, then hit me that shot, from there I don’t remember anything until I go down on my knee and that is what woke me up.”
For now, Cain Velasquez is doing pro wrestling but is open to an MMA return as he says he still has three fights left on his UFC contract.