Coach: ‘Francis Ngannou will come back a better version’

UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is back in the gym and training hard after recovering from major knee surgery earlier this year. He’s expected to return to the Octagon in 2023 if a deal can be reached in contract negotiations.

“The Predator” has been out of action for 11 months and is eager to get back to doing what he does best.

“I feel like I still have a lot to do. I still enjoy it. I love it. This, this is hard, but it’s where I want to be,” Ngannou said on YouTube. “This is what I want to do. I don’t want to do anything else.”

“I’m very excited about it, to see how it’s going to come out. Being out a year now, almost a year, I want it. I want to go back there,” added Ngannou.

When the 36-year old does make the walk to the cage again, his coach, Dewey Cooper, believes the world will see an improved Ngannou.

“This version of Francis will be better than the last version of Francis before he injured the knee. It’s going to be something that’s galactic,” Cooper said. “We’re expecting Francis to be better, stronger, more athletic, more everything. He expects the same thing, so it’s definitely going to happen.”

UFC president Dana White recently said that negotiations with Ngannou were headed in a good direction. Ngannou insinuated that he’s eager to return. It’s just a matter of when and if he can come to terms with the fight promotion.

“Whenever something is smart and official, we’ll make sure that we do the right things to have him at his very best,” said Cooper. “2023, we’ve got some big, big things ahead.”

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