Watch: Francis Nganga tells when he can return after injury

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UFC heavyweight champion Francis “Predator” Ngannou is out of action after defeating Cyril Gein in January due to injury. But it looks like he’s on the mend and may be ready to fight again soon.

In an interview with TMZ Sports, Ngannou stated that he is confident that he will return to the octagon no later than the beginning of 2023. But he said he could be ready to fight as early as December.

“If everything goes well, I will be ready by the end of the year, because it will be 9 months (of recovery). So, let’s say at the end of December or the beginning of next year,” Ngannou said.

Ngannou suffered serious knee injuries during the fight with Gane. He has since undergone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and MCL repair.

Francis Ngannou has been an almost unstoppable force in the UFC for the better part of seven years. He first joined the promotion in 2015, defeating six opponents in a row before losing a title fight to Stipe Miocic at UFC 220 in 2018.

After losing his second fight to Derrick Lewis in 2018, Ngannou continued a new winning streak, knocking out four opponents in a row in the first round before earning a second fight against Miocic in 2021.

This time Ngannou got the better of Miocic, knocking him out in the second round and winning the UFC heavyweight title. It took 10 months before he fought and defeated Gein in his first title defense.

Will Francis Ngannou return to the dominant force he once was when he returns?