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By David Tees on 1/28/2024 4:06 PM

Jared Cannonier hasn’t competed since scoring a unanimous decision victory over Marvin Vettori in the main event of UFC On ESPN 47 in June of 2023.

The fighter, who suffered an MCL injury this past October, says he expects doctors to clear him to fight again by March.

“I did see my surgeon, he did say that he would be able to clear me by the tail end of March,” Cannonier told Inside Fighting (transcript via Matthew Wells of MMA Junkie). “So, another couple of months, a month and a half, I should be back clear to compete. In the next couple of weeks, maybe in the next month, I’m going to be really getting back to my grappling. That’s the only thing I haven’t really been doing is a lot of grappling.

“I’ve been continuing my strength and conditioning and working my striking and stuff like that. I’m still feeling sharp, I’m feeling stronger than ever. I’ve made a lot of improvements since my last fight, and even since the injury I’ve made more improvements. The injury occurred and I feel like when I came back, I’m a better fighter because I’ve been studying and still thinking about this thing.”

Cannonier was scheduled to fight Khamzat Chimaev before suffering the MCL injury, it is unknown at this time who he will fight upon returning.

Another thing Cannonier wants to see is how the current chaos of the UFC Middleweight Division plays out as he readies for a return to action.

“As unfortunate as it was, I wasn’t too bent out of shape about it,” Cannonier said. “These things happen. I’m happy about the place that I’m at and the environment that I’m in so that I’m about to recover and even come back stronger. It sucks the opportunity had to go away like that, but things happen for a reason. I’m waiting for this whole thing to play out. When I get back, the reasons will be made clear for sure.”