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"When I tried to turn around, I heard the crack" – Francis Ngannou reveals details of knee injury that has kept him out of action

Francis Ngannou (Left); Ngannou vs. Gane at UFC 270 (Top and Bottom Right)
Francis Ngannou (Left); Ngannou vs. Gane at UFC 270 (Top and Bottom Right)

Francis Ngannou shed light upon how he injured his right knee about three weeks before his UFC 270 fight. UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou was scheduled to fight the then-interim UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 on January 22, 2022.

In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Francis Ngannou harked back to the fight, which was the final one on his UFC contract. Ngannou revealed that he injured his knee during a sparring session on December 28, 2021.

Additionally, Ngannou's head coach Eric Nicksick explained that a sparring partner from Germany was asked to spar a round against the heavyweight kingpin. 'The Predator' addressed this and recalled that a desperate takedown attempt from the sparring partner led to his knee injury:

"We were sparring. I think he get overwhelmed. He shot like...desperate takedown. Then, when I tried to turn around, I heard the crack on my knee. Then, right at that moment, when you hear that on your knee, you know that something is happening."
Francis Ngannou found himself down on the scorecards but turned to his wrestling and dug deep to beat Cyril Gane πŸ†A five-round heavyweight battle at #UFC270! https://t.co/8KJjfmHFlF

As suggested by Francis Ngannou, Eric Nicksick, and Ngannou's striking coach Dewey Cooper, their team subsequently focused on helping the former heal as much as possible from the injury. They opined that Ngannou couldn't partake in his usual training after the injury.

Nevertheless, they tried their best to prepare him for the fight by having him train safely, besides undergoing stem cell therapy and other medical treatments. Ngannou faced Gane at UFC 270 and won the closely-contested fight via unanimous decision, thereby unifying the heavyweight belts. It's ironic how, in the championship rounds, it was Ngannou's wrestling which enabled him to dominate the Frenchman.

Watch Ngannou discuss the topic at 2:00 in the video below:

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Francis Ngannou on his contract dispute with the UFC

Francis Ngannou is yet to re-sign with the UFC. The reigning UFC heavyweight kingpin underwent surgery for a torn ACL and MCL in March. He's expected to recover from his knee injury issues and fight in early 2023. However, it's unclear whether he'll return to the UFC or try his hand at boxing.

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In a podcast with Joe Pompliano earlier this year, Francis Ngannou explained that he and UFC president Dana White have been cordial with one another, except when he speaks to the latter about contract negotiations.

The 36-year-old indicated that his relationship with the UFC went downhill once he started demanding a better contract. Criticizing the UFC, Ngannou said:

"For myself, no. Definitely not. I wasn’t treated fair. Because I stand for something, I asked for something."

Watch Ngannou's conversation with Pompliano in the video below:

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Edited by Virat Deswal
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