Francis Ngannou encourages anyone doubting his finish to check out the instant replay.
The UFC heavyweight slugger knocked out Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC Phoenix on Sunday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The time came at just 26 seconds of the first round.
The timing, though, was not the thing that was in dispute. Initially, the causation of Velasquez collapsing leading to the referee to call the fight was. Velasquez’s knee buckled and he said it was that injury that led to him falling to the ground and Ngannou finishing him off.
Ngannou disagrees. He says all you have to do is check out that replay and you’ll see him land an uppercut on Velasquez that leads to the stoppage.
“No, because the knee buckled after an uppercut on his chin,” Ngannou said. “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.”
Ngannou said he didn’t feel the impact in the moment, because he threw a bunch of punches as Velasquez tried to take him down against the cage. After consulting the video himself, Ngannou believes he see what happened — and it was not Velasquez going untouched as his knee buckled.
“In the fight, I couldn’t see that, but I watched the video and you guys can also watch the video,” Ngannou said. “So when the uppercut, that shot connected he just fell right way. I think that’s what hurt his knee.”
Ngannou (13-3) has now won two straight after a pair of lackluster performances, the former in a title fight against Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in January 2018. “The Predator” knocked out Curtis Blaydes in 45 seconds in November and now has a 26-second knockout to his name against a former two-time heavyweight champion in Velasquez, who was once considered perhaps the best MMA heavyweight of all time.
When Ngannou, a Cameroon native by way of France, first started training in MMA, he searched on YouTube for the heavyweight champion and that’s when he first came across Velasquez. He called himself in the lead up a fan of Velasquez and the one that he always trained to defeat. Ngannou believes that a victory over someone like Velasquez should earn him another title shot.
“I think what should be next for me is the title shot,” Ngannou said. “I think Cain is the one that the victory against him, after that you deserve a title shot.”
Velasquez’s teammate and close friend Daniel Cormier is the current UFC heavyweight champion. The relationship between Velasquez and Cormier is not lost on Ngannou.
“I think he should come to avenge his teammate,” Ngannou said. “I think that would be a good matchup. I’ll get that done as well.”