Ngannou to undergo knee surgery, expected to be out 9 months

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Francis Ngannou will undergo knee surgery after suffering an injury prior to his recent UFC title defense, his manager told ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Wednesday.

The heavyweight champion plans to return to his native Cameroon soon and will get the procedure once he's back in the United States.

"I continue to be amazed and inspired by Francis' heart and resilience," said Marquel Martin, Ngannou's manager. "Fighting on one leg to overcome all odds and remind the world he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world."

Ngannou tore his MCL and damaged his ACL during a sparring session about three weeks before his unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. Ngannou said Monday on "The MMA Hour" that he needed surgery but wasn't sure if he wanted to go through the recovery process immediately.

Recovery from the surgery is estimated to take nine months, according to Martin.

"The Predator," who's been at odds with the UFC in recent months, fought Gane in the final bout of his deal Saturday. However, he remains under contract for additional time or fights because of the champion's clause. Ngannou has said he believes his contract expires in late 2022.

He took a deep dive into his conflict with the UFC on Monday, saying his biggest issue with the promotion is its "one-sided" contracts and how it holds "all the cards." Ngannou said he wants to stay with the UFC "if they make things right" but is otherwise willing to walk away.

Martin told Okamoto he hopes they "can find a peaceful resolution in these contract talks."

Ngannou to undergo knee surgery, expected to be out 9 months
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