Francis Ngannou provides timetable for return after knee surgery

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UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is leaving the door open for a return by the end of the year.

“The Predator” underwent knee surgery earlier this year for a damaged ACL and torn MCL suffered in training prior to his victory over Ciryl Gane in their title unification bout at UFC 270 on Jan. 22.

“It’s getting better. It wasn’t easy, but getting there,” Ngannou told TMZ Sports of his recovery. “It’s been only three months, so I’m still doing physical therapy.”

While there have been rumors of an interim heavyweight title tilt between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones,
that booking is far from official. At this point, Ngannou can’t
provide an exact timetable for his return, but he remains
optimistic regarding his recovery.

“If everything goes well, I will be ready by the end of the year because it is going to be nine months,” Ngannou said. “So let’s say late December or early next year.”

There is also the matter of contract negotiations with the UFC. After besting Gane, “The Predator” stated that he hoped to get a deal with the promotion that would allow him to box professionally. At the moment, Ngannou isn’t ready to discuss any potential opponent until that is resolved.

“For now, let’s fight for the situation and get everything squared up,” Ngannou said. “Then when I get close to the return we will see where the landscape is at because a lot of things can happen.”


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