Cain Velasquez’ loss to Francis Ngnanou was stunning, surprising and, with what appears to be a knee injury, ultimately disappointing.
While there remains some debate on which came first — did Ngannou drop Cain before his knee gave out or did Cain’s knee give out before Ngannou dropped him — nothing can shake the fact that for Velasquez, who was making his return after nearly three years out of action, looks to be in a bad spot in his career.
And according to his coach Javier Mendez, Velasquez himself is as down as his fans.
“He was upset about the whole thing. I’ve never seen him this upset ever,” Mendez said, speaking to Submission Radio. “When he lost to Junior dos Santos in the first fight, we had a torn meniscus, we trained it and we went with the better boxer, it didn’t go our way, he wasn’t too upset about that. He was like, hey man. When we fought Fabricio Werdum and we didn’t prepare him properly, I didn’t prepare him properly, I screwed up there with the altitude thing and he lost that one due to the altitude in my opinion and he gassed like within the first 30 seconds, I’m like, oh shit, he wasn’t upset too about that. This one here really, really got him, because it wasn’t anything Ngannou did, it was what his body didn’t do.”
But while Velasquez’ attitude immediately following the fight was that a freak injury caused the fight to end in just 26 seconds, Mendez says the former heavyweight champion is starting to put more stock into a heavy blow Ngannou landed prior to the scramble that ended the contest.
“If you guys watch the video, the very first punch Ngannou threw at Cain, (Cain) came into shoot, he got hit in the back of the head, an illegal shot that dazed him a little bit when he went in for the takedown, and that’s what kind of jacked up his knee to start,” Mendez said. “So, I didn’t see that, I did not see that. And today I looked at it and said, oh my god. And guess who told me about it? Cain. Cain was the one who told me.
“Today, he told me today. He said, ‘hey coach, I got hit in the back of the head, so I was a little dazed’. So that’s kind of did what happened. But he was fine, he goes, but you know, it’s just understanding the whole sequence of things right. If you’re watching the video you kind of don’t really know, you’re thinking, no, Ngannou hurt him. And then you go, no, wait a minute, the knee went. But now if you watch the whole sequence of events you go, fucking freak accident, son of a bitch. And nothing to take away from Ngannou, he’s a great fighter, he came in prepared, the better man won that night. There’s nothing you can say about that. But, it was a freak accident.”