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Francis Ngannou reveals he suffered brutal knee injury before UFC 270 win over Ciryl Gane


Francis Ngannou battled to a unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane (Picture: Zuffa LLC)

Francis Ngannou defended his UFC heavyweight title with a unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane at UFC 270, despite suffering a torn MCL just weeks before the fight.

There were not the striking fireworks that many expected from the two giants, but Ngannou displayed impressive grappling skills, taking Gane down multiple times and, although he didn’t do massive damage on the floor, his sustained top control was a big part of his win.

The challenger had started impressively, but the champion had quite clearly scored the decision win by the end of round five, with the judges scoring the fight 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46.

While it wasn’t a classic, the victory will go down as an incredible impressive one as Ngannou revealed the brutal knee injury he suffered just three weeks ago, and that he refused to pull out of the fight despite it.

‘It’s been an incredible journey, a very tough training camp, very tough 10 months,’ Ngannou told Joe Rogan immediately after the fight.

‘Three weeks ago I hurt my knee, tore my MCL completely, hurt my ACL and all that stuff.

Ngannou showed off his improved grappling skills (Picture: Zuffa LLC)

‘They wanted to call off this fight but I couldn’t see myself retreat from this fight because it was a moment for me to make a statement and remind people that I’m the champ.

‘You guys might sleep on me, kind of forget about me, but I put in work every day and now I belong to Extreme Couture, we have great coaches there for wrestling and jiu-jitsu, so my ground game is evolving, I’m going to be on another level.’

Ngannou may still be the UFC heavyweight champion, but his future with the company is unclear, with his contract coming to an end and a new agreement yet to be reached.

The 35-year-old has made it clear he wants to step into the boxing ring sooner rather than later, targeting a fight with Tyson Fury, and he has not backed down on that goal.

‘Boxing is always in my back pocket, it’s something that I must do before the end of my career,’ he said.

‘Right now I’m looking to any opportunity to get that because it’s not like I have a lifetime here. I better think about it.’


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