Video: UFC champ Francis Ngannou revs up kick training 8 months after knee surgery

Francis Ngannou is putting in the work to get back to competition as soon as possible.

Ngannou (17-3 MMA, 12-2 UFC), the reigning UFC heavyweight champion, is eight months removed from going under the knife for a knee surgery to repair a torn MCL and damaged ACL. He hasn’t seen action since January, when he unified the heavyweight title with a unanimous decision win over interim champ Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.

It was no minor procedure for Ngannou, and the rehabilitation process has looked like a grueling one judging by his social media updates. It appears “The Predator” is taking major positive steps forward, though, because on Thursday he posted footage of himself kicking pads with head coach Eric Nicksick at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.

Check out the video (via Instagram):

Once healthy, it remains to be seen what Ngannou’s next move looks like. He has completed all the fights on his current UFC contract, and his team has stated that in January he will be a free agent.

Ngannou has made his desire to cross over into the boxing ring quite clear, but as the man with UFC gold, he also has some big potential fights on the horizon inside the octagon.

MMA Junkie reported this week that the UFC is targeting Ngannou to fight Jon Jones on its March pay-per-view event in Las Vegas. However, many hurdles must be completed before that comes to fruition.

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Twitter reacts to Francis Ngannou's title defense against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie