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UFC champ Francis Ngannou headed for surgery, likely out for ‘9 to 10 months’

According to manager Marquel Martin, Francis Ngannou will likely sit out the next ten months to recover from surgery.

After his successful title defense at UFC 270, heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou revealed he entered the fight against Ciryl Gane with a knee injury. Specifically, “The Predator” claimed to have completely torn his MCL while also damaging his ACL during camp, which almost led to his withdrawal.

Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin gave an update on his client’s injury status in a recent message to MMA Fighting. According to him, the champ is headed for surgery and will likely sit out the majority of the year.

“He’s going to have to get surgery, likely in March. Then the timeline can vary, obviously, but probably looking at 9 to 10 months [recovery time].”

Martin confirmed that the procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the same doctor who worked on both Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre for their respective ACL surgeries. He’s also optimistic about a smoother recovery process for Ngannou.

“His MCL is completely gone but that can heal on its own,” Martin added. “So likely he’s going to repair the ACL and then if there is other damage that needs to be repaired like the MCL or anything else, he’ll fix that up.”

The timing of the surgery and recovery could also work for Ngannou. The UFC champ is looking to get out of his contract and has long been dissatisfied with the promotion. Should he fail to book another fight within the year — which will be the likely scenario if he sits out for ten months — he will be a free agent by 2023.