Javier Mendez, coach to UFC heavyweight Cain Velasquez, spoke during a recent interview about the controversial stoppage in his fighter’s showdown with Francis Ngannou.
Two-and-a-half years out of action and 26-seconds was all it took for Velasquez’s return to turn into a nightmare as the power of Ngannou proved to be the difference within the first exchange.
Or so it seemed at first glance.
Replays seemed to show the knee of Velasquez buckling after he was caught by the first shot from The Predator – although the jury, at the time, were still out on whether his body or the power of Francis was the leading factor in his demise.
Now, his long-time coach at AKA Javier Mendez has come forth with another facet to the finishing sequence that had been overlooked by many of those who followed the fight’s aftermath.
“[Velasquez] wasn’t getting around too well (after the fight). But the screwed up [part] about that whole thing, originally when I saw the fight, I kept having to replay it, replay it, and I never saw what the hell happened.
“And I was thinking, well, what the hell? It’s just his knee gave out, right? And of course his knee gave out, right? But then it wasn’t until I was home and he leaves me a text message and he goes, ‘I was fine until he hammerfisted me in the back of the head.’ And I’m like, what? What are you talking about, hammerfist?
“So I replayed the goddamn video and the very first strike that was hit was an illegal shot right behind the back of the head, when he shot in. And he said that dazed him a teeny bit and that’s what started this whole sequence, and nobody ever saw it. It was an illegal shot. If the ref would’ve caught it, it would’ve been a no contest.”
Check out the finishing sequence below and give us your thoughts.
Francis Ngannou gets it done in 26 seconds! 😮
Cain Velasquez's comeback ended in the blink of an eye at #UFCPhoenix…
Scary power! pic.twitter.com/LwoZJZLC4j
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) February 18, 2019
The road to recovery is once again ahead of the legendary former two-time champion of the heavyweight division and now, at the age of 36, one would have to assume that it will be quite difficult to see him at his very best inside the octagon ever again.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena