Former UFC Heavyweight and current Bellator Heavyweight Cheick Kongo is on a mission to get back to the top of the Bellator and earn the promotion’s gold through a rematch with current title holder Vitaly Minakov (14-0).
Vitaly was the victor over Kongo in their first bout for the title at Bellator 115 where Cheick was defeated via unanimous decision but the Frenchmen that’s proven he’s a force to be reckoned with has already embarked on the comeback trail.
Kongo most recently defeated Eric Smith by a crucial combination of knees and punches at Bellator’s first ever pay-per-view at their 120th installment.
Now at Bellator 123, Cheick is set to face a fellow UFC veteran in Lavar Johnson (18-9).
Before Kongo landed in Bellator he ended his rocky relationship with the UFC where he went an outstanding 11-6-1.
“You know some things happen unexpectedly in your career but no matter what happens you can get everything you want, everything in my career now is good. But the UFC threw me away after treating me like s$%# at the end . You have to be really tough, they (The UFC) just pushed all the time, push, push, push and no matter what I had to keep going.
Kongo is enjoying his time being employed under the Bellator banner now.
“What they’re (Bellator) doing is good, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next, I would love to rematch Vitaly (Minakov), and this time around I would not over-train for him.”
But before he can rematch the champ, Kongo must beat Johnson this Friday night.
“I can’t wait, he (Lavar) is a big deal, and he’s just WOW. I have to keep a good base and make sure he doesn’t touch me.”
2 thirds of Cheick’s wins have come by some form of TKO ending, and all but one of Lavar’s wins have come by the same method.
Kongo feels they are even in the category.
“Striking advantage is the same for both of us, I throw more but every fight you have to be clever. I will be exciting and I will do my best.”
In the end Cheick feels he will win by TKO.
“For sure it will end by TKO, I can’t tell you how or what second but it will end by TKO.”
Finally Kongo looks forward to his second chance at Bellator gold.
“I want to fight for the title next. I can’t say I want this or that and blah blah blah and who I want or when blah blah until I beat Lavar.”