Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is recovering after undergoing major knee surgery on Friday to repair damage done ahead of his most recent fight against Ciryl Gane.

Ngannou provided an update on Instagram along with details about the surgery done on his leg.

“Knee surgery went very well today — ACL reconstruction and MCL repair,” Ngannou wrote. “P.S.: no meniscus damage.

“Thank you to Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache and staff for taking great care of me. Rehab time to get everything back to normal and get back on track.”

Prior to his surgery on Friday, Ngannou’s manager Marquel Martin from CAA told MMA Fighting that he’s expected to remain out of action for approximately “9 or 10 months.”

Ngannou’s ACL reconstruction is a serious but rather common surgery done on athletes, with a return time typically between 9 to 12 months.

As for the surgeon who repaired Ngannou’s leg, Dr. Neal ElAttrache is a famed orthopedist working out of Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles with an extensive history of working with high-profile athletes.

Dr. ElAttrache has previously done ACL reconstruction surgeries on UFC fighters such as Conor McGregor after he injured his knee in 2013, as well as both knees of former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. He was also one of the surgeons who worked on McGregor’s broken leg after the Irishman suffered a devastating injury this past July.

In addition to his regular practice, Dr. ElAttrache is the head team physician for both the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While Ngannou is recovering, he will also be deciding on his future in combat sports.

His win over Gane at UFC 270 in January served as the final fight on Ngannou’s UFC contract, with his champion’s clause expected to keep him locked up until at least the end of 2022.

Ngannou has expressed frustration with the UFC on getting a new deal done as he seeks more freedom to pursue outside interests, such as a potential boxing match against reigning heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

It’s unknown if the knee injury and subsequent surgery could possibly extend Ngannou’s overall deal with the UFC since he’s unable to compete, but as of now he’s expected to become a free agent after December.

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