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Francis Ngannou reveals what was going on in his mind after losing the first two rounds against Ciryl Gane while fighting with a knee injury

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

Francis Ngannou has revealed what he was thinking after losing the first couple of rounds against Ciryl Gane whilst also dealing with a knee injury.

UFC heavyweight champion Ngannou faced then-interim UFC heavyweight champ Gane in a title unification matchup at UFC 270 in January.

Ngannou had suffered an ACL and MCL tear in his right knee about four weeks prior to the Gane matchup but competed regardless. Gane, who's well-known for his exceptional footwork and speed, out-struck and outpointed Ngannou in rounds one and two of their fight.

EDGE OF YOUR SEAT TYPE OF FIGHT.πŸ† @Francis_Ngannou & @Ciryl_Gane throwing down for the undisputed HW throne! #UFC270 https://t.co/yOWmH72gEU

In the latest video posted on his YouTube channel, Ngannou was asked whether he was thinking about his injured knee when the fight began. 'The Predator' responded by stating:

"Yeah, absolutely. Basically, when I started to move -- and I know that the canvas, most of the time, is slippery. I'm like, 'This thing [his knee] might slip in the wrong way.' So, start to find my grip, trying to be as stable as possible, but being stable doesn't allow me to move. So, I was very behind on every action."
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

Additionally, the Cameroonian MMA stalwart explained what was going on in his mind after being outpointed by 'Bon Gamin' in the first two rounds:

"After the second round, I knew that I was losing. Then, I'm like, 'Okay, this can be it. If this is my last fight, then let's f***ing fight,' and then, maybe retire because I don't have a knee anymore or whatever it is. But let's fight."

Francis Ngannou turned the tide with his wrestling in round three. He won rounds three, four, and five with his vastly-improved wrestling and overall grappling skills. Ultimately, Ngannou ended up defeating Gane via unanimous decision and successfully unified the heavyweight belts.

Watch Ngannou discuss the topic at 9:25 in the video below:

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Francis Ngannou's coach Eric Nicksick hints at a potential return date for the UFC champion

The Ciryl Gane showdown marked the final fight of Francis Ngannou's UFC contract.

Ngannou has been engaged in a contract dispute with the UFC and is yet to re-sign with the organization. Moreover, 'The Predator' is expected to return from his knee injury in early 2023.

🚨| The UFC want Jon Jones to return against Francis Ngannou at #UFC285 on March 4th.If Ngannou is not ready by this date then Curtis Blaydes will face Jon Jones on his return.[per @MMAJunkie]#UFC285 #UFC #MMA https://t.co/BHcronZZ8T

The consensus is that the UFC is targeting a heavyweight title matchup between reigning champion Francis Ngannou and former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 285 on March 4, 2023. It's also believed that Jones could fight Curtis Blaydes if Ngannou isn't ready by then.

That said, Ngannou's head coach Eric Nicksick recently posted a cryptic tweet insinuating that his star pupil might return to the octagon at UFC 285. Nicksick wrote:

"Ya'll busy March 4th?? #justwondering"
Y’all busy March 4th?? 😬#justwondering

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Edited by Virat Deswal
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