Undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou is set to undergo surgery to address an MCL tear and partial tear of his ACL suffered in the weeks ahead of his UFC 270 headliner against Ciryl Gane back in January. As a result, the Batie native is set to be sidelined for a period of nine months to boot.
Ngannou, the promotion’s undisputed heavyweight champion, headlined the first pay-per-view event of 2022 for the organization, successfully unifying the heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision win over Gane – utilizing a quite surprising wrestling and grappling-heavy attack and game plan.
Following the bout, Ngannou, who had utilized compression knee pads on both his legs during his main event bout with Gane, confirmed that he had suffered a partial tear of his ACL and a complete tear of his MCL during his preparation for Gane at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Cameroonian was scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure that may sideline him for a period of nine months upon his return from a trip to his home country to reunite with his family. And his manager, CAA agent, Marquel Martin confirmed to ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto that Ngannou would undergo a surgical procedure to address his knee injury on March 18.
“UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou is scheduled to undergo knee surgery on March 18. his manager, Marquel Martin tells Brett Okamoto,” ESPN MMA tweeted. “Ngannou (17-3), 35, is wrapping up a trip in his native Cameroon this week and is scheduled to return to the U.S. for the procedure next week.”
Off the back of his unanimous judging win over Gane, Ngannou had completed his contractual obligations with the organization, and he would be free to test free agency in January 2023 when the ‘sunset clause’ in the Cameroon native’s contract expires, after he signed his current contract back in December 2017.
Ngannou is also subject to the ‘champions clause’ in his contract, however, which would tie him to his current deal for the period of a single year, or for the period of three fights with the UFC – whichever would come first.
However, UFC president, Dana White has maintained that he is optimistic about coming to terms on a contract with Ngannou and his representatives – with a meeting between the parties expected to take place in the coming weeks.