Francis Ngannou Set To Undergo Knee Surgery, Facing Potential 9-Month Sidelining

    ByRoss Markey

    Jan 26, 2022

    Reigning UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou is set to undergo a surgical procedure in a bid to address an MCL tear and ACL injury suffered in his right knee before last weekend’s title unification bout against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.

    Headlining the Honda Center event, Ngannou successfully unified the heavyweight championships with a unanimous decision win over the undefeated, Gane – handing the interim titleholder his first professional mixed martial arts defeat. 

    However, on the day of Ngannou’s outing with Gane, speculation began to mount that the Batie native was suffering from a knee injury. And fuel was further added to the fire when Ngannou made his Octagon walk – sporting a pair of compression knee sleeves.

    Following his unanimous judging win – where Ngannou landed a total of four surprising takedowns, he confirmed that he had suffered a knee injury just 25 days out from his title unification bout against Gane. 

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    Expected to undergo a surgical procedure in order to address a Grade 3 MCL tear and ACL injury, Ngannou, as per his manager and agent, Marquel Martin, confirmed that the procedure would likely take place upon his client’s return from a home visit to his native Cameroon. And estimated Ngannou would be sidelined for a period of nine months.

    “I continue to be amazed and inspired by Francis’ (Ngannou) heart and resilience,” Marquel Martin told ESPN MMA. “Fighting on one leg to overcome all odds, and remind the world he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I think we can all agree he deserves some time to go back home and be with his family and countrymen.”

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

    Ngannou’s future with the promotion remains firmly up in the air following UFC 270, where the heavyweight champion’s contractual obligation of eight fights came to an end, and the Batie native has insisted he would no longer fight on the current terms of his contract, or for a fight purse of $500,000 or $600,000. 

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    Per the California State Athletic Commission, who hosted UFC 270 in Anaheim, Ngannou took home a disclosed fight purse of $600,000.