26 short seconds was all it took for the freakishly powerful Francis Ngannou to finish Cain Velasquez in the UFC Phoenix main-event.
But there was a quite a bit of confusion in the fight’s direct aftermath. Calls from commentator Dominick Cruz stating that Cain’s knee had buckled instantly left a sour taste in the mouths of those who have been tagging for the duration of this incredibly odd weekend for MMA.
And to be fair to the bantamweight legend, at first glance it did look as though Velasquez’s knee had simply given out – allowing Ngannou to secure the finish.
— Abdi G (@Phoenix_6ix) February 18, 2019
Firas Zahabi coined the term ‘touch of death’ to describe the left-hand shot of the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
A shot that, while incredibly hard – no doubt, is deceptively masked by its fluid motion.
We’ve seen ‘touch of death’ shots crumple a man without a massive wind-up and when the fight-ending sequence happened this time around, that was exactly what we saw through alternative angles.
Yes, Cain’s knee gave out, but only after his head flew back and his body started to drop.
Note Ngannou’s punch and the effect it has on Cain’s head before his knee gives out.
— ⚔️Warrior1776⚔️ (@ChadMoothart) February 18, 2019
Now from the original angle, through slow-motion you can see the moment Cain’s head flies back.
— ○ D Y L V N ○ (@702_dylan) February 18, 2019
Correct observation. pic.twitter.com/t7xtHTkAoX
— 1ceYourPimpHand (@1ceYourPimpHand) February 18, 2019
On the flip-side, some eagle-eyed viewers were quick to note that Cain called off his open workout directly after a slip that saw the very same knee buckle just a day before.
Don’t know if you saw this, looks like his knee gives out then he calls off the open workout pic.twitter.com/Asl6ITn2u8
— Jesse Calvillo (@jessecalvillo) February 18, 2019
Whether there’s any connection between the two or not, who knows!
If one thing is for certain though, it’s that Francis Ngannou remains the scariest man in mixed martial arts today.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena