It only took Cameroonian-French mixed martial artist Francis “The Predator” Ngannou, 32, 26 seconds to end his fight at “UFC on ESPN 1.” He knocked out his Mexican-American opponent Cain Velasquez, 36.
Featuring 12 MMA fights, “UFC on ESPN 1” took place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona on February 17, 2019. In the main event, Ngannou and Velasquez battled it out in the heavyweight division.
With Jason Herzog as the referee, the heavyweight match between Ngannou and Velasquez was the quickest bout of the night. The Cameroonian-French fighter was one of the three contenders who won via knockout.
Velasquez displayed sportsmanship after his defeat. He called Ngannou to stay by his side during his post-fight interview inside the UFC octagon.
“Give it up to Francis,” Velasquez said. “He gave it here. He did his job. I stayed a little too close, too early.”
On the preliminary card, Luke “Cool Hand” Sanders, 33, of Clarksville, Tennessee, USA knocked out Renan “The Baron” Barão, 32, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil via punches after 1 minute and 1 second in the second round. On the main card, Vicente “The Silent Assassin” Luque, 27, of Brasilia, Distrito Federal, Brazil knocked out Bryan “Bam Bam” Barberena, 29, of Glendale, Arizona via knees and punches after 4 minutes and 54 seconds in the third round.
Three of the 12 bouts at “UFC on ESPN 1” ended via submission. Six matches ended via unanimous decision.
Winning at “UFC on ESPN 1” improved Ngannou’s professional MMA record to 12 wins and 3 losses. On the other hand, Velasquez now has 15 wins and 3 losses.
This marked the eighth victory of Ngannou in the UFC. He is now riding a two-bout winning streak.
Born and raised in Batié, Cameroon on September 5, 1986, Ngannou was 26 years old when he moved to Paris, France to pursue a career in boxing. As an MMA fighter, he has been competing professionally since 2013.
Watch the “UFC on ESPN 1” post-fight press conference here: