Cain Velasquez on UFC On ESPN 1 Loss: \u201cIt Was Just Knee, Francis Ngannou Didn\u2019t Touch Me!\u201d After over 30 months outside of Octagon, Cain Velasquez finally returned to Octagon last night\u00a0(Sun., Feb. 17, 2019) at UFC on ESPN 1 from inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, where he squared off against dangerous Cameroonian knockout artist\u00a0Francis Ngannou. Former UFC heavyweight champion opened the fight with a good body kick, 'The Predator' missed right hand. Cain Velasquez tried to grapple Ngannou, who responded with few strong punches. Velasquez slumped to the canvas and unable to defend himself, referee Jason Herzog stepped in immediately and waved off the match. Velasquez\u00a0knee popped in during that sequence. Cain Velasquez was in complete disbelief after a quick loss, and offered an explanation at the post-fight press conference, claiming his knee betrayed him. The former UFC Heavyweight king states he felt 100% healthy heading into the main event of UFC Phoenix. (h\/t MMAFighting) \u201cI just can\u2019t believe that happened,\u201d Velasquez said. \u201cHaving a great camp coming in, truly, everything I said, how strongly I felt, that was all true. Coming in I felt great out there, relaxed, and then taking that one step I did with my left foot. I just felt something pop and then when I tried to take another step it just gave out on me. My knee gave out on me, I can\u2019t even believe that happened. \u201cGoing in 100 percent healthy. 100 percent ready and just to have this freak accident, I can\u2019t even believe it. It\u2019s just hard. That\u2019s sports, that\u2019s what we do. That\u2019s what happens sometimes. It\u2019s just really frustrating because the fire in me is strong, stronger than ever. In camp, great camp, great camp. And then this happens.\u201d Cain Velasquez claims his knee injury ended the fight, not Francis Ngannou\u2019s strikes. \u201cCardio Cain\u201d says the Cameroonian\u2019s fists didn\u2019t rock him at all. \u201cIt was just the knee, he didn\u2019t even, like, touch me, you know?\u201d Velasquez said. \u201cIt was just the knee, as soon as I felt the knee just buckle, it was like I couldn\u2019t believe that happened. And then that was it.\u201d \u201cGoing in for his leg, I felt he kind of clubbed me on the back of the head, but that didn\u2019t graze me at all,\u201d Velasquez continued. \u201cNone of the punches grazed me at all or did anything to myself where I felt like I was unbalanced or anything. Just getting in on the inside and it was just a freak thing that happened with my knee.\u201d Velasquez doesn\u2019t blame "The Predator" for raining brutal punches\u00a0and praises the referee Jason Herzog for the stoppage. \u201cCardio Cain\u201d also adds he respects his opponent Francis Ngannou a lot. \u201cIt was okay because the ref saw my knee buckle.\u201d Velasquez said. \u201cThe ref saw my knee buckle. His job is to make sure we\u2019re 100 percent safe and he did that. Even for me, just to process what happened in that moment, even afterwards \u2014 the ref did the right job, he did the correct job tonight.\u201d \u201cI have a lot of respect for \u2014 I have a lot of respect for a lot of fighters, that\u2019s just how I am \u2014 Before the fight, a lot of respect, but I\u2019m there to kill him,\u201d Velasquez continued. \u201cAfter the fight, a lot of respect, especially for him as a man, as a competitor. \u201cI beat myself tonight.\u201d What are your thoughts on Cain\u2019s statement? Do you believe his story?