Francis Ngannou not only earned a hard-fought win at UFC 270, but battled through plenty of adversity while doing so.
Ngannou defended his heavyweight title for the first time after earning a unanimous decision win over Ciryl Gane in the main event of UFC 270 last night.
After arguably being down the first two rounds, Ngannou switched things up by grappling with Gane for the remainder of the fight to grind out the unanimous decision win.
Of course, one of the things that stood out to most was the fact that Ngannou was notably wearing kneepads as he walked towards the Octagon. It led many to believe he was injured and possibly compromised.
Fortunately for Ngannou, it didn’t seem to affect him too much, especially as Gane didn’t utilize too many leg kicks over the course of the 25 minutes.
However, there was a big reason why he was wearing them.
Francis Ngannou Almost Wanted To Call Off Fight
Speaking to Joe Rogan during his post-fight interview, “The Predator” revealed he tore his MCL and injured his ACL a couple weeks out from the fight.
It was so bad that he was even willing to call off the fight. However, he decided against it in the end in order to make a statement.
“It’s been an incredible journey. It’s been a very tough training camp,” Ngannou said. “Very tough 10 months. A lot of sh*t, you know. Like three weeks ago, I hurt my knee. Tore my MCL completely, hurt my ACL and all those stuff, and wanted to call off this fight, but couldn’t see myself retreat from this fight because it was a moment for me to make a statement and to remind people that I’m the champ.
“You guys might sleep on me, forget about me, I put in work every day.”
It certainly makes Ngannou’s victory all the more impressive as one bad kick could have done plenty of long-term damage to his knees.