There has been much debate on what caused Cain Velasquez’s knee injury during the main event of UFC Phoenix last weekend. And for a fresh take, the coach of the MMA legend at the American Kickboxing Academy said it was, in fact, an illegal punch.
Rising heavyweight star Francis Ngannou cruised to a first-round technical knockout victory against the returning Velasquez at the first UFC Fight Night under the ESPN banner. The Cameroonian sent his opponent down the canvas early in the first, hurting his knee in the process, which gave him the chance to throw more strikes before getting the stoppage.
Now, Cain’s coach, Javier Mendez, is claiming that it was the punch to the head, not the uppercut, that made his knee gave out.
Cain Velasquez made his highly-anticipated return on Sunday night when he took on rising star Francis Ngannou in the headliner of UFC on ESPN 1.
The former two-time heavyweight champion drew huge support from his fans in Arizona, where he had a prolific wrestling career during his college days. But the night did not end well for Velasquez and the home fans as the hard-hitting Ngannou pulled off a stunner, finishing the MMA legend in just 26 seconds.
The 32-year-old Cameroonian landed an uppercut that sent “Cardio Cain” down early to deliver ground and pound before the referee called off the fight. But Velasquez has insisted that it was the knee injury that took the fight out of him, not Ngannou’s game.
“None of the punches grazed me at all or did anything where I felt unbalanced. It was just a freak thing that happened with my knee.”
“It was the knee, that was it. He didn’t even touch me,” Velasquez said in the post-fight presser.
“The Predator” has refuted Cain’s claim, saying it was the uppercut that caused the knee injury.
“You can look at the video, and you will see the uppercut. That might be why the knee buckled because he got disconnected.”
“In the fight, you’re just trying to do whatever you can do to get out of there, because he was getting closer, and I didn’t want him to be close. I just wanted him to be at distance,” said Ngannou.
This just breaks my heart 💔
I’m not taking anything away from #FrancisNgannou cus he’s a BEAST
but Caín Velázquez blowing his knee out makes me sad because I feel he could of done better against Ngannou
But again I feel bad for Cain #UFC #Phoenix
— Javier Urquieta (@DeJesusUrquieta) February 18, 2019
Velasquez’s coach, Javier Mendez, broke his silence and gave a different take to this issue. He claimed that it was the illegal punch to the head before the uppercut that caused Cain’s knee to buckle.
“If you guys watch the video again, the very first punch that goes through was an illegal punch at the back of the head. It was unintentional, hitting him at the back of the head, but that’s when the damage happened.”
“It’s not an excuse, they’re facts. Look at the damn video.”
"It's not an excuse, they're facts. Look at the damn video" – @akajav explains how it was the punch you didn't see that caused the end result of the Cain-Francis fight@RJcliffordMMA @OfficialAJHawk pic.twitter.com/9s9rOEudCh
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) February 20, 2019
What do you think of Coach Javier’s claim? Let us know in the comment section below.
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