UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou will undergo surgery to repair a torn MCL and damaged ACL in his right knee.
Ngannou's manager Marquel Martin revealed the news to ESPN's Brett Okamoto and said the following about the plans for the operation. The 35-year old Cameroonian champion suffered the injury just weeks prior to his unanimous decision victory over former interim UFC heavyweight champion, Ciryl Gane, at UFC 270 this past Saturday night.
"I continue to be amazed and inspired by Francis' heart and resilience," Martin said. "Fighting on one leg to overcome all odds, and remind the world he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I think we can all agree he deserves some time to go back home and be with his family and countrymen. Upon his return, we plan on getting surgery and starting the recovery process so we can get him back to 100 percent as soon as possible. In the meantime, we hope we can find a peaceful resolution in these contract talks. We'd like to thank all the fans for their continued support and belief in Francis."
Martin added additional insight on the expected recovery timetable for Ngannou following the procedure, telling MMA Fighting's Damon Martin that the heavyweight star could miss a majority of 2022.
“He’s going to have to get surgery likely in March,” Martin said. “Then the timeline can vary, obviously, but probably looking at 9 to 10 months [recovery time]. His MCL is completely gone but that can heal on its own. 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.”