Francis Ngannou says there is still a chance he competes again this year.
The UFC heavyweight champion most recently fought in January, retaining his title with a unanimous decision victory over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. After the bout, Ngannou’s team revealed the champ came into the fight with a torn MCL and damaged ACL in his right knee. Ngannou underwent successful surgery to repair both in March and, speaking with TMZ Sports recently, Ngannou revealed that his rehab is going well and that there is still a chance he can compete again by the end of the year.
“It’s getting better,” Ngannou said. “It’s been pretty good. It wasn’t easy, but we’re getting there. It’s been only 3 months, so yeah, I’m still doing physical therapy. If everything goes well I’ll be ready by the end of the year because it’s going to be nine months. So let’s say late December or early next year.”
Recovering from knee surgery is not the only impediment to an Ngannou return though. The heavyweight champion’s fight against Gane was the last on his UFC contract. Ngannou currently remains locked in with the UFC due to their champions clause but that will reportedly expire in December. Unfortunately, Ngannou and the UFC still seem to be far apart in contract negotiations, with “The Predator” maintaining that he will not re-sign with the company unless they allow him the chance to box Tyson Fury. So when asked about a possible opponent for his return, Ngannou was more focused on his fight outside the cage.
“You know, as for now let’s fight for the situation and get everything squared up, and then when I will be close to the return, we will see where the landscape is at because a lot of things can happen.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Carlos Ulberg won his fight and then went to a training session.
Left the Apex halfway through the card cuz we got work to do…I’m inspired!!! https://t.co/z9bz0c3eAY— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) June 26, 2022
It’s super unfortunate to get COVID right before International Fight Week. But I just couldn’t, in good conscience, go forward with the fight this weekend and risk getting others sick. I’m recovering, and will be in fighting shape soon. https://t.co/exmJYMUPfu— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) June 26, 2022
The UFC is the top MMA promotion in the world but can’t or won’t find one of their biggest stars a fight.
I want to fight— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) June 27, 2022
Tony Ferguson continuing a beef that only he cares about now.
24 hours later. Is that normal? pic.twitter.com/45ldqANkTr— Brendan Loughnane (@BrendanMMA) June 27, 2022
I almost didn’t take the opportunity with PFL because i didn’t want to miss my great grandmother’s 100th birthday, but i got to houston in time and had a blast with the family. She made it to a century! #centenarian #century #hunnit #family pic.twitter.com/hNoV3o8PDn— Juan Adams mma (@chosenjuan285) June 26, 2022
Just a good photo.
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