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Morning Report: Francis Ngannou gives update on recovery, says a December return is possible

Francis Ngannou could return in late 2022.
Francis Ngannou could return in late 2022.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

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.”


Results. Mateusz Gamrot won a razor close decision over Arman Tsarukyan at UFC Vegas 57.

Results. Johnny Eblen upset Gegard Mousasi to become new middleweight champion at Bellator 282.

Results. Heavyweight and featherweight playoff brackets set at PFL 5.

Results. Luis Palomino and Britain Hart took home unanimous decision victories at BKFC 26.

Future. Mateusz Gamrot said Khabib Nurmagomedov expects him to fight Islam Makhachev for UFC title in future.

Loss. Arman Tsarukyan believes he beat Matuesz Gamrot at UFC Vegas 57: ‘I didn’t lose this fight’.

Dreams. Shavkat Rakhmonov reveals ideal next opponents including Nick Diaz and Jorge Masvidal.

Bet. Tyson Fury agrees to $1 million bet with Jake Paul for Tommy Fury fight, doubts Paul can actually pay.

Out. Lauren Murphy vs. Miesha Tate scratched from UFC 276 lineup; Murphy reveals COVID-19 positive.


UFC Vegas 57 Post Show.

UFC Vegas 57 Press Conference.

PFL 5 highlights.

Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski breaking down UFC 276.

Paddy Pimblett back in the gym.


On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC Vegas 57.



Carlos Ulberg won his fight and then went to a training session.


The UFC is the top MMA promotion in the world but can’t or won’t find one of their biggest stars a fight.

Tony Ferguson continuing a beef that only he cares about now.

Fast healer.


Just a good photo.


Gregory Rodrigues (12-4) vs. Chidi Njokuani (22-7, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, Sept. 17.

Tanner Boser (20-8-1) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (8-1, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, Sept. 17.


Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.



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