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Fitch: Velasquez couldn't get out of first JDS fight

ESPN staff
October 29, 2012
Junior Dos Santos is ready for Cain Velasquez

Cain Velasquez's team-mate Jon Fitch claims the former heavyweight champion only lost his first bout with Junior Dos Santos because he had no option than to fight injured.

Velasquez's knee injury was well known around the time of his loss to Dos Santos, which came in the UFC's debut on Fox. The former champ was knocked out in 64 seconds but now has the chance to erase that loss in a rematch.

Fitch is a team-mate of Velasquez's at the American Kickboxing Academy, and he witnessed the build-up to that title fight. And the welterweight appeared to hint that the UFC had too much riding on its Fox debut for Velasquez to consider withdrawing.

"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," Fitch told Tatame.

"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 was thinking, 'I can't kick.' When your head is not in the fight, you get hurt."

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