Following Cain Velasquez’s quick loss to Francis Ngannou at UFC Phoenix, there’s been debate as to whether a punch, or a knee injury, led to the defeat. But, in addition to that, a discussion is being had on the internet, as to whether the former heavyweight champ may have tweaked his knee during the open workouts.
Velasquez’s long-awaited return to the Octagon turned out to be a disastrous affair for the star, as Ngannou was officially declared the winner just 26 seconds in. Velasquez went down awkwardly not long into the fight from what appeared, to be an uppercut that landed. The decorated wrestler’s knee buckled as he went down, and Velasquez was visibly in pain afterward.
Well, following the bout, Velasquez claimed that Ngannou’s punches didn’t land and that he went down, only because his knee buckled. Ngannou, meanwhile, argued that the heavyweight’s loss, as well as his knee injury, was caused by an uppercut he landed.
Well, as it turns out, the Twitter-verse discovered footage of Velasquez at the open workouts, which shows Velasquez slightly slipping, as he hit pads. Velasquez then immediately called off the session. Watch for the apparent slip in the video below around the 7:46 mark.
Javier Melendez appeared on MMA Junkie Radio recently, and when he was asked about the theory Velasquez may have injured his knee at the open workouts, Velasquez’s longtime coach said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“No, he never said nothing to me about it if that happened,” Mendez said. “He didn’t say a word to me about that. No, nothing. So if that did happen, he didn’t tell me. And I would hope he would’ve told me. He didn’t tell me nothing.”
So, there are a few things to consider here. One: Velasquez didn’t injure and or tweak his knee at all while hitting mitts, and the fact he ended up injuring his knee in the bout is all just a big coincidence. After all, if he hadn’t injured his knee, would anyone have even been re-examining footage of the open workouts? Further, Velasquez could have waved off the session simply because he was worried about injuring his knee on the slippery mats.
Two: Velasquez did tweak his knee at the open workouts, but thought he was going to be okay, and proceeded to fight.
Three (and this is the most conspiratorial in nature): Velasquez was already dealing with some sort of knee injury even before the open workouts, and that’s why when he slipped, he immediately waved off the session with the hope of preventing further damage. After all, this is a man who has missed out on literally years of his fighting career, due to injuries.
All this aside, hopefully, Velasquez isn’t sidelined for too long and we get to see him back in the Octagon sooner than later.