Ngannou 'looking at 10 months recovery' after surgery, reveals manager

Francis Ngannou is ‘looking at 10 months recovery time’ after knee surgery in March’, reveals his manager… meaning UFC heavyweight champion could see out contract and become free agent in 2023

  • Francis Ngannou fought Ciryl Gane with torn MCL and a damaged ACL in knee
  • He won the fight anyway but is now set for lengthy spell on the sidelines 
  • Cameroon native is expected to be out of action for nine or ten months
  • His manager said: ‘His MCL is completely gone, but that can heal on its own’

Francis Ngannou will undergo surgery in March and is likely to be out of action for around 10 months. 

The heavyweight champion is therefore highly unlikely to compete again this year as he recovers from serious knee surgery. 

He revealed after beating Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 that he suffered a torn MCL and damaged ACL in an incident during the training camp but battled on anyway. 

Francis Ngannou is set for a spell on the sidelines and may have fought his last fight in the UFC

Now his manager Marquel Martin has confirmed that Ngannou will go under the knife, telling MMA Fighting: ‘He’s going to have to get surgery, likely in March. Then the timeline can vary, obviously, but probably looking at 9 to 10 months [recovery time].

‘His MCL is completely gone but that can heal on its own. 

‘So it is likely he’s going to repair the ACL and then if there is other damage that needs to be repaired like the MCL or anything else, he’ll fix that up.’

Ngannou’s contract with the UFC was automatically extended by the ‘champion clause’ after he won his fight last Saturday. 

The heavyweight champion is set for 10-month recovery period from his knee injury

He has another 12 months on his deal but if he sits out through injury and is unable to fight, he would become a free agent in 2023. 

It remains to be seen whether he can agree terms with the organisation but their relationship may be beyond salvaging.

Ngannou has spoken about his desire to test himself in boxing with a big fight against the likes of Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua. 

And he would be free to do so without the UFC blocking such a move next year. 

That said, if the promotion can persuade Jon Jones to come back and dangle the carrot of that big payday, it could convince the champion to agree new terms. 

Ngannou has not agreed terms on a new contract with the UFC and Dana White

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