Cheick Kongo
Booked against Bader
HeavyweightBellator
July 11, 2019
Kongo will challenge Bellator Heavyweight Title holder Ryan Bader on Sept. 7, Greg Rosenstein of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Reports surfaced of Kongo being the likely challenger to Bader when the belt-holder announced two months ago that he would remain in the heavyweight class. Kongo should be a worthy challenger, as he will enter the September bout having recorded two straight first-round knockouts, most recently against Tim Johnson at Bellator 208, and is riding an eight-fight winning streak under the promotion.
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Picks up second-straight first-round knockout at Bellator 208
HeavyweightBellator
October 14, 2018
Kongo defeated Tim Johnson via KO (punches) at 1:08 of Round 1 at Bellator 208 on Saturday in Uniondale, N.Y.
ANALYSIS
In the latter stages of his career, Kongo has developed the reputation of a plodding fighter. However, he certainly bucked that trend here with a first-round knockout. He caught Johnson early in the fight with a right hand. Johnson stumbled to the ground and attempted to defend. However, Kongo was all over him with punches on the ground and knocked him clean out. Kongo has now won seven-straight fights in Bellator including back-to-back knockout victories.
Suffers lower leg injury in Bellator 199 win
HeavyweightBellator
May 16, 2018
Kongo has been suspended six months by the California State Athletic Commission pending doctor's clearance of a possible left distal fibula fracture, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Kongo showed no signs of a lower leg injury while picking up his first KO victory since 2014 on Saturday, but something didn't quite check out right after the fight. The 42-year-old could still choose to book another fight before the end of the calendar year, as he's fought exactly twice in each year since 2014. If he wants to do so earlier than November, however, Kongo will need to obtain medical clearance.
Scores his first stoppage in over three years at Bellator 199
HeavyweightBellator
May 12, 2018
Kongo defeated Javy Ayala via KO (punch) at 2:29 of Round 1 at Bellator 199 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.
ANALYSIS
Bellator's own commentators came out and said during the broadcast that Kongo did not receive a shot in the Bellator heavyweight tournament, because his fights have been boring. Well, in this fight, he finished Ayala with an exciting knockout. The first-round finish was Kongo's first stoppage since he submitted Lavar Johnson at Bellator 123 in 2014. The veteran heavyweight picked up his 10th win in Bellator, which makes him the winningest heavyweight in the history of the promotion. He is now riding a six-fight winning streak in Bellator, and he is bound to end up in a high profile fight due to the lack of division depth.
Does just enough to win decision at Bellator 179
HeavyweightBellator
May 19, 2017
Kongo defeated Augusto Sakai via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) at Bellator 179 on Friday in London.
ANALYSIS
At this point, it is almost uncanny. Kongo is riding perhaps the least inspiring five-fight winning streak of all time. He managed to do just enough wrestling to win this fight. Kongo never really engaged on the feet, and he rarely did damage from the top. Unfortunately for the fans, Sakai never really pushed the action and fought at Kongo's pace. Bellator continues to talk about crowning a new heavyweight champion. Considering his winning streak, Kongo has likely cemented himself into a spot in the title picture. However, the promotion might think twice about putting a five-round Kongo fight on television.
To fight Augusto Sakai at Bellator 179
HeavyweightBellator
April 25, 2017
Kongo will face Augusto Sakai in a heavyweight matchup at Bellator 179 on May 19 in London, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Kongo may be 12 years older than his opponent, Sakai, but the veteran has the experience to take down the young gun for a fifth straight Bellator victory. Kongo, who joined Bellator in 2013, has racked up a career record of 26-10-2 (8-2 in Bellator). The heavyweight owns 13 career knockouts, though his last five fights (four wins) have all gone to the judges.