Ngannou defeated interim champ Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 in his first title defense as the heavyweight champ. He pulled off an impressive comeback in the later rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Ngannou revealed during his post-fight interview that he suffered a significant knee injury in his training camp. He’s expected to undergo surgery on his right knee and miss at least nine months of competition, with a possible return at the end of the year.
Ngannou’s planned prolonged absence has fueled speculation behind a potential Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic fight for the interim heavyweight title. During a recent interview on Bruce Buffer’s It’s Time podcast, Ngannou gave his reaction to the possibility of lightning striking twice.
“In the past, they have shown in the heavyweight division they can wait for a year for a title defense,” Ngannou said. “We have been waiting for years. We have been having one title defense in the heavyweight division for a long time. So, I don’t think that’s an issue.”
Ngannou defeated Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 260, knocking him out in the second round. He lost his previous first attempt at the title and Miocic back at UFC 220.
Ngannou was expected to make his first title defense last year against Jones, but negotiations never materialized. Jones vacated the light heavyweight title in early 2020 to make a run at heavyweight.
It’s unclear what the UFC plans to do with the heavyweight title picture going forward, but the champ isn’t worried about it and is focused on recovery.
Who do you want to see Francis Ngannou eventually fight next?