Francis Ngannou to be sidelined for nine months as UFC star faces knee surgery

Ngannou will need surgery for knee injuries he sustained before his UFC 270 title defence against Ciryl Gane and will be out of action until October

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UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will undergo surgery for his torn knee ligaments and be sidelined for most of 2022.

Ngannou wore knee sleeves for his injuries at UFC 270 last weekend and was forced to wrestle his way to victory against interim champion Ciryl Gane.

‘The Predator’ was advised by doctors to withdraw from his title defence after tearing his MCL and injuring his ACL less than a month before the bout.

He underwent further medical examinations after the bout and plasn to visit his native Cameroon before travelling back to the US to undergo surgery.

Marquel Martin, Ngannou’s manager, gave an estimated recovery of nine months when discussing his fighter’s injuries.

Francis Ngannou wore knee sleeves for his UFC 270 win


AFP via Getty Images)

“I continue to be amazed and inspired by Francis’ heart and resilience. Fighting on one leg to overcome all odds, and remind the world he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Martin told ESPN.

“I think we can all agree he deserves some time to go back home and be with his family and countrymen.

“Upon his return, we plan on getting surgery and starting the recovery process so we can get him back to 100 percent as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, we hope we can find a peaceful resolution in these contract talks. We’d like to thank all the fans for their continued support and belief in Francis.”

Despite his win against Gane marking the last fight on his UFC deal, Ngannou owes the promotion another bout due the champion’s clause extension.

But the terms of his contract – which he signed in December 2017 – state it cannot exceed a length of five years, meaning he will be free to leave the UFC in December.

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The Cameroonian – who has lost over £5million after turning down contract offers – is targeting a crossover fight with WBC champion Tyson Fury.

He wants the UFC to be onboard in promoting their fight, but has insisted that regardless of his future with the promotion he will fight Fury.

And Ngannou said if his UFC days are over, he is happy with what he’s achieved in the promotion.

“Do the UFC still want me to fight there? You should ask them. They should be the one answering that question. If they make things right, yes [I will fight for them],” he said on The MMA Hour.

“It’s going to be on my way. I’m going to make the call on how it ends. It won’t end on somebody’s rules. It will end on my rules. If this is the end, I am happy.”

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