UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is aiming for a December return to defend his title.
The Cameroonian - ranked number five in the UFC's pound-for-pound rankings - has been recovering after knee surgery.
Ngannou had to go under the knife following ACL and MCL injuries in March and there was talk of an interim title being made with his return unknown.
However, the 35-year-old gave an update to his fans and is hoping to 'be ready by the end of the year'.
He told TMZ Sports. "It's been pretty good. It wasn't easy, but we're getting there. It's been only three months, so yeah, I'm still doing physical therapy.
"If everything goes well I'll be ready by the end of the year because it's going to be nine months. So let's say late December or early next year."
Ngannou has been one of the leading UFC stars to fall out with president Dana White publicly over pay.
He has insisted his main goal is to fight boxing's heavyweight champion Tyson Fury once his UFC contract expires.
While many don't believe a boxing fight would be competitive - due to the inexperience of Ngannou - it would generate huge numbers.
"Fury is one of the greatest boxers of all time," he said. "I mean, you look at the guys that he's beaten and how easily he's beating them. I don't know, we'll see how this whole thing plays out. I don't love the crossover fights.
"They're f***ing stupid. "F***ing waste of time, energy, and money. It's silly, but I get it.
"Boxing is a massive advantage for Tyson Fury. Ngannou just wrestled Ciryl Gane. If you know anything about fighting, it's just a silly conversation."