Reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou recently shared how recovery is going following knee surgery. ‘Predator’ detailed how he is still struggling doing day to day activities.
Francis Ngannou successfully retained his title against former teammate Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 earlier this year. Ngannou went through all 5 rounds with Gane and won the fight via unanimous decision. However, he tore his ligament during a sparring session.
Ngannou’s coach Eric Nicksick revealed the news back in January following his victory against Gane.
“Francis was kind of piecing him up a little bit, and I could tell the guy was getting anxious, so the guy shot a very, very low single. It wasn’t like him trying to be mean or anything like that, it was just him taking a shot. ”
“But it was really low, and went onto Francis’ lead leg, which was his right leg being southpaw, and with the shin pads and the knee pad on, his knee kind of buckled funny. And he cringed and grabbed it, and then got up and kind of moved around a little bit and then actually finished up the rounds.” Nicksick explained to Ariel Helwani in The MMA Hour.
ACL injury is known to have a pretty long recovery time, ranging from 6 to 9 months and even then it’s a big question if an athlete can back to his old self.
Francis Ngannou recently revealed how rehab sessions are goin. The 35-year-old took to his official Youtube channel and showed some progress.
“Now I can drive by myself. I’m off crutches, you know? It’s very relaxing now compared to the first two or three weeks, that was horrible.”
“Couldn’t drive, couldn’t walk, even to just grab something in the fridge. It was a hell of trouble. But now I kind of do everything on my own which is good. Not 100%, but I’m still good. Still in pain at night, but not as much as the beginning.” Ngannous said.
Ngannou also revealed when he will be ready to start training again.
“In two or three months, I’ll be happy enough to train, to pick up a little training. Just a little, like jogging. I’m not strong enough to [spar], I think I better just give it enough time to heal up at once, so I don’t have to redo it.”
“Because if I try to force it earlier, I think I might have to redo it, go over it again. So I better give it the time that it takes. I rest a lot, I’m not a pressure guy. I’ll just relax, just know when to do what I have to do, and how to do it properly.” Ngannou added.
Francis Ngannou will become a free agent come December due to the sunsetting clause that was added in light of the UFC class action lawsuit. This will be a landmark case considering UFC hasn’t let a champion become a free agent since Georges St Pierre back in the day. At the time St Pierre managed to get estimated 5 to 10 million thanks to his free agent gamble.
UFC has done their best to make sure other athletes aren’t able to pursue sizeable paydays in a similar fashion since.