Last night, in the headlining bout of the UFC’s debut event on ESPN, Francis Ngannou picked up arguably the biggest win of his career, defeating former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in less than 30 seconds.
In the wake of this fight, however, there’s been some debate as to whether or not Velasquez was put down by Ngannou’s punches, the knee injury he sustained, or a grisly combination of both.
Ngannou says that, after watching the fight back, he’s confident that his punches spelled the end for the former champion. More specifically, he believes he dropped Velasquez with an uppercut, which is when the knee injury occurred.
“No, because the knee buckled after an uppercut on his chin,” Ngannou said at the post-fight press conference (transcript via MMA Fighting). “You can look at the video about it, so you can find out and you will see the uppercut. That might be why his knee buckled, because he got disconnected.
“In the fight, I couldn’t see that, but I watched the video and you guys can also watch the video,” he added. “So when the uppercut, that shot connected he just fell right way. I think that’s what hurt his knee.”
That being said, Cain Velasquez claims that none of the punches Francis Ngannou threw had him in any real trouble.
“It was just the knee, he didn’t even, like, touch me, you know?” Velasquez said post-fight. “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.”
What did you make of the finishing sequence in last night’s Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/18/2019.