Rising UFC star Francis Ngannou needed only 26 seconds to finish the returning Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC on ESPN 1, Sunday night, in Phoenix, Arizona.
“The Predator” gave the MMA legend a rude welcome in his return after a two-year layoff as he punched his way through a first-round technical knockout victory of Velasquez, which could potentially earn him a shot at the 265-lb title.
Heavyweight rising star Francis Ngannou welcomed Cain Velasquez back in the cage after over two years of hiatus. The MMA legend was last seen at UFC 200 in 2016, where he hammered Travis Browne for an emphatic TKO win before being sidelined due to injuries and health struggles.
“Cardio Cain” has defied fans’ doubts that he can no longer continue his fighting career because of the injuries he sustained. He stressed that he had a great time off while his coach claimed that the former two-time heavyweight champion has become more mature, smarter, and a better fighter.
Ngannou, meanwhile, just came back to the win column last November, following a pair of huge defeats to Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis respectively. The Cameroonian coasted to a 45-second knockout of Curtis Blaydes at UFC Beijing to earn the Performance of the Night honour, though it was still not enough to erase the heartbreaks from his last two losses.
On Sunday, “The Predator” had another shot to redeem himself and once again, he delivered.
The 32-year-old made quick work of Velasquez in the main event of UFC on ESPN 1 as he finished the returning fighter in just the 26 seconds to the opening round with a ground and pound.
Ngannou hit a charging Cain with an uppercut early in the first before the former champ went down after another hit, with Velasquez potentially twisting his own knee. The Cameroonian then landed more strikes, which forced the referee to stop the fight.
Check out some of the craziest reactions from the Twitter-verse on Ngannou’s big win over Velasquez:
Y'all remember when @BrockLesnar called Francis Ngannou a "piece of shit" lol. Imagine his face now. Brock is getting Cucked because Francis is getting that #1 Contender shot now. @francis_ngannou @danawhite @seanshelby #UFCPhoenix
— Smooth Criminal (@Kingdom320) February 18, 2019
Lets gooo Ngannou!!!!! Cain has had his time. Let this new generation of fighters take over. The has to accept that and stop bringing in legends past their prime in there with killers!! Lets go!! #UFCPhoenix
— Kenneth Macharia (@therealkenisto) February 18, 2019
#UFCPhoenix yeah Cain blew his knew but he also got hit pretty hard with a right on the way down and a 260+ pound man sprawled on him, so I think ngannou deserves more credit than just chalking it down to cains knee being bad
— Bush (@bushdid411) February 18, 2019
Sucks that Cain’s knee gave out. Could’ve been a really great fight. Either way, give Francis Ngannou a title shot. #UFCPhoenix
— Hasani Jenkins (@DarnellFriedman) February 18, 2019
Francis Ngannou is back folks. He's back in a big way. That Derrick Lewis fight feels like a distant memory. First round finishes over Curtis Blaydes and now Cain Velasquez have put him right back in the mix. #UFCPhoenix
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) February 18, 2019
— Cyborg UFC240 ESPN+ (@criscyborg) February 18, 2019
(Featured Image Source: Twitter/MMA Mania)