Josh Hedges, Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Jon Fitch, a teammate of former UFC Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez at AKA, claims the Mexican-American wrestler had a badly injured knee when he lost the title to Junior dos Santos at the first UFC on Fox late last year.
When Junior dos Santos only needed 60 seconds to clobber & KO UFC Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez live on UFC's Fox TV debut, the disappointment was massive and palpable. Fox had spent almost an hour hyping the fight on live broadcast television to an audience of over 8 million, many of them tuning in to MMA for the first time. Velasquez had been a literal giant killer in his previous UFC bout, battering Brock Lesnar to take the title in the fall of 2010.
UFC president Dana White wasn't shy about burying Velasquez' performance, openly questioning his decision to stand with the formidable boxing of dos Santos and letting his anger and frustration show.
"I think that in the first fight, he did't show everything he could do. He had a severe knee injury, and was limited by what he could do, but it was such an important fight so he couldn't miss it. It was important for the company, for the fans and for the world. He continued, even knowing that he should not. He went against the advice of everyone on the team, and doctors, but pulling from the card was not an option at the time. It will be very different with him being able to show all his tools. He was hurt and thinking about his knee. He wanted to kick the legs of Junior, but he was thinking, 'I can't kick.' When your head is not in the fight, you get hurt."
Normally MMA fans come down pretty hard on fighters who come up with post-facto excuses for a poor performance, but at this late date, and coming from a teammate, not the horses' mouth, this tale has the ring of truth. Certainly the Velasquez that crumpled up against JDS bore little resemblance to the man-beast that smashed Lesnar and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.
Velasquez rematches dos Santos at UFC 155.