Cain Velasquez was back.
After last competing at UFC 200 in July of 2016, Velasquez was back to take on top contender, Francis Ngannou. Many believe Velasquez would be able to wrestle Ngannou and grind out a win, similar to what Stipe Miocic did to him at UFC 220. Ultimately, that is not the case as Ngannou got Velasquez with an uppercut, but then it appears Velasquez’s knee buckled, which did not look good and Ngannou finished him off on the ground.
Speaking at the post-fight press conference, Velasquez was disappointed that his knee buckled like that as he felt completely healthy.
“I just can’t believe that happened,” he said at the post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “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. 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.”
Although many have said it was the uppercut what rocked Velasquez, the former champion said none of the punches touched him or hurt 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, the question remains on whether or not Velasquez will fight again. After this performance, Velasquez knows Ngannou didn’t beat him, rather he beat himself.
“I beat myself tonight,” Velasquez concluded.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime