UFC Francis Ngannou vs Cane Velasquez knockout video: ‘Scariest man on planet’
Debate is still raging about whether Francis Ngannou’s brushing punch or a buckled knee injury were responsible for the downfall of UFC legend Cane Velasquez — it doesn’t matter.
The France-based fighter’s reputation as the baddest man on the planet has been restored in the eyes of many fight commentators — and that’s what does matter.
UFC boss Dana White may finally have his monster back — after one of the craziest 12 month streaks in the promotion’s history.
Ngannou scored a stunning 26 second knockout of former UFC heavyweight champion Velasquez in Phoenix on Monday, giving fans reason to believe their freak of nature is the dominant, unstoppable force many believed he was until one of the most baffling fall from graces in MMA.
Many are choosing to accept Ngannou’s word that his punch connected — despite being far from a flush connection — and that was all it took to drop Velasquez before his knee gave way.
Sold as the man with the world-record 96 horsepower punch that contained the same force of being his by a Ford Escort at full speed or a sledgehammer being swung overhead, Ngannou was famously plucked to fight for the belt against Stipe Miocic.
He was completely outclassed.
His next fight against Derrick Lewis was arguable the worst heavyweight fight ever held in the UFC. Neither fighter made a move. Ngannou didn’t throw a punch in the first three minutes. It had the lowest recorded number of strikes thrown in any three-round UFC heavyweight fight
“We might be looking at the most boring heavyweight decision of all time,” star commentator Joe Rogan said.
White even distanced himself from Ngannou, suggesting his prized fighter’s ego was out of control following his meteoric rise.
”I think he had a pretty quick rise here and obviously the fight over Alistair Overeem catapulted him, everybody was talking about him,” White said last year.
“I thought he was going to be the next [big] guy. I think his ego ran away with him, big time. I can tell you that his ego absolutely did run away with him. The minute that that happens to you in the fight game, you see what happens. You start to fall apart.
“I had some personal encounters with him, as did other people in the organisation, and this guy’s ego was just so out of control.”
Just like that many thought Ngannou was broken.
Now he is picking up the pieces, building a second title shot.
Having already beaten Curtis Blaydes, Ngannou’s fight with Velasquez was over before it really began, as Ngannou pushed forward and looked to land the right hand, only for Velasquez to initiate a clinch up against the cage.
Ngannou was able to stuff the grappling attempt and landed a short uppercut that signalled the end of the fight.
Although Velasquez ate an uppercut, the American’s knee also gave way, leaving Ngannou to reign down with some devastating ground and pound and force the finish.
He is such a freakish specimen that 26 seconds was all it took for the UFC world to jump back on the bandwagon.
Francis Ngannou might not be the UFC heavyweight champion but I still consider him the baddest and scariest man on the planet. #UFCPhoenix
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) February 18, 2019
I think Ngannou has the kind of power where he flicks you and most people would just fall over.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) February 18, 2019
Francis Ngannou is terrifying. I’d totally watch him fight DC for the belt. He beat Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez. That should get you a title shot. #UFCPhoenix
— Danny Segura (@dannyseguratv) February 18, 2019
“He’s one of those power punchers who doesn’t need to take a massive swing to score a knockout,” Iole wrote.
“In his prime during the 1940s, former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis is reputed to have knocked opponents cold with a punch that travelled no more than six inches.
“Ngannou has that kind of game-changing power.
“It was only July when Ngannou’s career seemed to screech to a halt, after he lost a five-round decision in a title fight with Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 and then stunk up the joint in a curious loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226.”
The man himself also thinks he’s done enough to win everyone back — and believes he has earned a title shot.
“I think what is next for me is a title shot,” Ngannou said, referencing heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
“After tonight I think I deserve a title shot.
“I can’t answer if Daniel fights someone else. I only want a title shot. I want the title first. I always said I wanted a rematch with Stipe, but right now I only want the title shot.
“I promise you guys, I’m back. As I’ve said before, I’m back and you are going to see me around again. I told you I had some surprise for you and I hope you like it.”
The UFC absolutely loves it.
Originally published as UFC backflips on ‘Scariest man on planet’