UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has given fans an update on when he may return to the Octagon.
Back in January at UFC 270, Francis Ngannou managed to overcome some real adversity by defeating Ciryl Gane despite dealing with a nasty knee injury. ‘The Predator’ showcased some new skills by leaning on his wrestling to get the job done, launching a necessary comeback after a strong start to the contest by interim champ ‘Bon Gamin’.
Around two months later, the 35-year-old underwent surgery for an ACL reconstruction and MCL repair, ensuring that we wouldn’t be seeing the knockout king inside the cage for quite some time.
He’s been posting regular updates regarding his recovery but now, we have a more concrete timeline regarding when exactly we may see him compete once again – thanks to an interview with TMZ.
“It’s getting better,” Ngannou said. “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 gonna be 9 months. So, let’s say late December or early next year.”
“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 ’cause a lot of things can happen.”
Who will he face?
As Ngannou noted, the landscape is pretty interesting right now in the heavyweight division.
There’s a big feeling within the sport that Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic will collide later this year with the interim heavyweight title on the line. In addition to that, a whole host of other top contenders are being lined up for big tests of their own, with Ciryl Gane vs Tai Tuivasa and Tom Aspinall vs Curtis Blaydes headlining events in Paris and London respectively this summer.
Of course, mixed martial arts isn’t the only combat game in town, with Ngannou also being heavily linked with a mixed rules bout against lineal heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury.
It’s no secret that Ngannou has had some issues with the UFC and if they can’t be resolved, this idea could become quite feasible.