The UFC champion defended his title this past Saturday in a dominant performance against Ciryl Gane.
Ngannou, known for having other-worldly knockout power, shocked everyone by implementing a takedown based gameplan to get the unanimous decision victory.
However, Ngannou’s performance might have been more impressive than previously thought. In an interview after the fight with ESPN’s Megan Olivi, Francis shared that he suffered a terrible knee injury and was ready to call off the fight:
“About three and half weeks out of the fight I hurt my knee, I had an injured ACL and a damaged ACL.” Ngannou then added “I was about to call out the fight but, you know, I wanted to wait until the last moment to make a decision”
“But with everything going on with this fight, I couldn’t call it off. I felt so ready… I was so ready! So even though I was scared about my knee I couldn’t cancel the fight.”
Ngannou then added that the medical staff suggested that he shouldn’t fight, because he was risking severe knee injury if he happened to get kicked in the leg:
“The doctors said they wouldn’t recommend me fighting because I can have irreversible damage if I get kicked in that knee. That’s why I couldn’t switch my stance”.
After his last victory, Ngannou’s future is still unknown. Ngannou fought off of his UFC contract and will be a free agent come December of 2022. The fans expect that he renews his contract so they can see him in the UFC again, but the relationship between Ngannou’s manager and the UFC president is complicated to say the least.
Another option for Ngannou is to start a boxing career, Ngannou showed that he is inclined to take that path, and none other than the Heavyweight King Tyson Fury has been calling him out:
Congratulations @francis_ngannou but if you want to make some real money come see the GK ?
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) January 23, 2022
Right now Ngannou is facing inevitable knee surgery – but according to his interview with MMA Hour his knee’s condition didn’t deteriorate significantly during the fight.
” I’m going to see a doctor today, uh, to clarify that. But they say my MCL can get – can be reattached on its own basically after this stem cell (treatment) but my ACL would definitely need a surgery.”
“I wanna see if not… Yeah I, I do need a surgery – that’s for sure. But would I? Do I want to do it now? I will see.”
One consideration as to why Ngannou might not want to get surgery right away might be tied to his contract. UFC contracts famously toll writers for the time they spend in recovery. Last we heard Ngannou confirmed he would be a free agent come December but it’s unclear if surgery would affect this.
We hope that he gets a speedy recovery so we can see him in the octagon in the future.