Francis Ngannou is on the road to recovery.
Ngannou underwent knee surgery to repair a torn MCL and damaged ACL in his right knee, which he suffered ahead of his unification against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 this past January. The UFC heavyweight champion defeated the former interim champion via unanimous decision, the first of his professional career.
Now days removed from surgery, Ngannou has shared a video of his ongoing recovery process. The ‘Predator’ was shown getting stitches around his knee removed and using cupping therapy during a recent visit to the UFC Performance Institute.
You can watch the video below:
Ngannou could be away from competition for 9 to 10 months, leaving the Xtreme Couture product on the sidelines until early next year. Because of his absence, UFC president Dana White has previously hinted at introducing an interim heavyweight championship again, but nothing has been confirmed.
“It’s very possible [an interim title gets created],” said White at his post-fight press conference at UFC London last month (video provided by MMA Fighting). “We find out this week [how long he’s out]. If nine months is true, if it’s going to take nine months for him to get cleared to start training again, that’s almost a year before he would fight. So, yeah. We would do an interim title.”
It should also be noted that Ngannou and the UFC have yet to come to an agreement on a new contract, so a return to the Octagon is still up in the air. Despite differences over proposed terms, such as an increase in pay and inclusion of a special clause that would allow him to box against names like Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, both parties remain optimistic a deal can be reached in the near future.