The outcome of the UFC Phoenix main event may have impacted Daniel Cormier’s retirement plans.
The reigning heavyweight champion has claimed that he will call it a career once he turns 40 this March. He is also setting his sights on a massive clash against pay-per-view behemoth and WWE star Brock Lesnar in his swan song.
But on Sunday night, DC’s long-time friend and teammate at American Kickboxing Academy, Cain Velasquez, suffered an emphatic loss to rising star Francis Ngannou at UFC Phoenix. The former two-time champion returned to the cage after more than two years of layoff and had promised to reclaim the throne in the post-Cormier era.
Ngannou, who needed only 26 seconds to demolish Velasquez, is eyeing a crack at the 265-lb strap, telling DC that he should avenge his best friend’s loss. Now, the former champ-champ has responded to Ngannou’s challenge.
— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) February 18, 2019
Hard To Watch
Francis Ngannou and Cain Velasquez tussled in the main event of UFC on ESPN 1 on Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix Arizona. Ahead of this fight, Cain’s best friend, Daniel Cormier, hyped Velasquez’s return and promised fans that a vintage Velasquez will show up.
But the heavyweight legend did not live up to expectations as his younger opponent beat him in just the first round. Ngannou landed a clean uppercut, sending Cain down and hurting his knee in the process. The Cameroonian then landed more strikes before the referee stopped the fight.
Cormier said it was painful to see his teammate losing in a devastating fashion. He was also disappointed that he was not on Cain’s side during this tough time.
“I know how hard he trained. I know how well he prepared for this fight, and for it to end the way that it did was very unfortunate, was very hard to watch, I wasn’t able to get to Phoenix. It’s sad, it makes me very sad that I’m not there right now, that he lost in this way.”
“He looked good. I thought he was ready to fight, and I felt like he was ready to win this fight. You just cannot control some of the things that happen. He hurt his knee. And obviously you’re fighting a big powerful guy like Francis, there’s no room for error.”
“I’ll Beat Him”
Velasquez remains uncertain about the future of his fighting career after yet another painful setback. As for Ngannou, he is open to facing Cormier next as he aims to capture the heavyweight title. He also suggested that it will be a chance for DC to avenge Velasquez.
“I think he should come to avenge his teammate, and that would be a good matchup.”
The former two-division champ has responded to this challenge, saying he is willing to share the cage with the knockout sensation.
“Every time you see something like that, the emotions tell you, you go get it back, you go make it right. But Francis Ngannou, who didn’t ask for a fight, maybe later he will, and if that’s something we decide we want to do, then that’s what I’ll do.”
DC then gave his prediction to this potential match-up.
“I won’t go fight Francis Ngannou. I will beat Francis Ngannou.”
For more MMA actions, check out this stunning debut of the 17-year old Russian Hulk:
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Daniel Cormier and Francis Ngannou)