clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midnight Mania! Francis Ngannou faces nine month recovery after scheduled March 18 knee surgery

Bringing you the weird and wild from the world of MMA each and every weeknight!

UFC 270: Ngannou v Gane Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Back in January, Francis Ngannou put on a majorly gritty performance to defend his UFC Heavyweight title for the first time. Amidst contract negotiations and potential lawsuits, Ngannou rallied from an 0-2 start vs. Ciryl Gane, taking over the final three rounds on the strength of his wrestling. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but it was a serious display of heart and conditioning from the champ.

Even more impressively, he did it on a badly injured knee.

In an effort to repair Ngannou’s torn ACL and MCL, it’s been known that Ngannou was likely to go under the knife. Now, his manager Marquel Martin advised ESPN that Ngannou has a surgery date of March 18. The expected recovery timeline is about nine months, which means Ngannou is highly unlikely to return to action in 2022.

What’s next for the promotion and its champion? Ngannou fought out his contract at UFC 270, but the champion’s clause complicates matters quite a bit. UFC President Dana White remains optimistic that the two can come to terms, though that may depend on UFC’s willingness to let Ngannou cross over into the boxing ring opposite Tyson Fury.

An interim title also seems distinctly possible. UFC was quick to book such a fight when Ngannou didn’t immediately defend his title last year, so a high-profile fight — perhaps involving Jon Jones? — wouldn’t come as a shock.


Promotion on promotion violence! It’s been a while since we’ve had a real cross-promotion mega fight.

Big payouts at UFC 272!

I don’t know what Eryk Anders did to his foot, but it looks unpleasant.

Chris Leben was in a seriously bad way during his battle with COVID-19, but now “The Crippler” is back on the mat! You love to see it.

In the era of UFC Fight Night events being so frequent, I’d predict these numbers to be surpassed sooner than later.

Henry Cejudo and Conor McGregor were beefing on Twitter today, because why not?

Slips, rips, and KO clips

The One Championship fights earlier today were absurdly violent. John Lineker did John Lineker things, while Thanh Le proved that heel hooks aren’t real.

The losing man throwing his hands up in protest as the referee steps in is peak comedy to me.

I’m not predicting that Thiago Santos wins tomorrow night, but I hope he lets his hammer fly.

Random Land

A high quality graphic art of a carnivorous plant.

Midnight Music: Benny The Butcher dropped another tape, Tana Talk 4, and I’m always here for new Griselda.

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania