Cheick Kongo Following Teammate Rampage Jackson to Bellator MMA

June 4, 2013
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07-Cheick-Kongo-UFC-144-weighCheick Kongo is following Wolfslair teammate Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to Bellator MMA.

MMAWeekly.com sources on Tuesday confirmed that Kongo, who recently left the UFC, has come to terms with Bellator and will make his next cage appearance for the promotion.

Kongo (18-8-2) left the UFC following a loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen in April. It was the final fight on his contract.

The French fighter had been offered a new UFC contract prior to that bout, but declined.

“Don’t believe he said/she said stories. I have not been cut by the UFC,” Kongo wrote on his Facebook page following widespread reports that he had been released after losing to Nelson. “I am Cheick Kongo, so I know best what’s next for me. It doesn’t mean that I am leaving the UFC. It doesn’t mean that I am staying. It means this is my life.”

Details of his Bellator deal or debut were not revealed, but it appears Kongo’s life will find it’s next chapter in the Bellator cage.

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  • Joey

    HAHA who is he going to fight? The Bellator Heavyweight division is more shallow than the flyweights in the UFC.

    Talk about an easy road to the championship for him.

  • Cereal Killer

    I like the move for him! He just can’t make the top ten in the UFC, people like him and he’s a big name to draw more eyes to Bellator. That’s why Dana offered him another contract, but he declined.

  • bajafox

    Good for him. Now we get to see him get KO’d for free

  • ned sto

    Kongo took a gamble by not signing a contract and lost. His attempt to quell rumors that he had been cut by the UFC reflects poorly on his reputation.
    He’ll be a great addition and a strong draw for Bellator all the same. Haven’t been a fan of his since that shorts pulling fiasco that he engaged in several fights ago. I think it was a UFC event in the UK. Regardless, of that, he never evolved as an MMA competitor. So its back to the minors for him.

    • melody jones

      Ya he’s a really ” big name”. Grow up.

      • PhranktheTank

        Let me list a few names for you.
        Alexander volkov
        Ron sparks
        Rich hale
        Alexis kudin
        Manny Lara
        Hae joon yang

        Any of those bigger names than cheick Kongo?
        No? Then I guess he’s the biggest draw the bellator heavyweight division has.

  • Lawdog1521

    I don’t know, I think I’d rather let people think I had been cut than admit I’m just a scaredy cat that ran to a weaker league.

  • jim profit

    shouda been less greedy!!!!

  • fsunoles10

    if they go over to bellator and run rampant than that pretty much tells us the difference in talent between the ufc and the closest thing to them, which we really didnt need any proof to prove this but just saying.

    • Tyme_5

      I don’t know about that. It seems like every time the UFC absorbed another promotion, that promotion’s fighters came into the UFC and ran wild. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bellator’s guys did the same thing. UFC has most of the top talent, but they will never have all of it.

      • fsunoles10

        i hear ya idk bro think lombard, but i know what you’re saying in terms of strikeforce guys coming over and doing big things but bellator is the biggest thing other than the ufc in mma right now since strikeforce isnt around anymore and i think we both know bellator doesnt have the talent strikeforce did even without your hindsight. but if they go over there and start knocking everybody out than that just sends off some red flags to me.

        • Tyme_5

          I gotcha. I’m not saying Bellator is on par with the talent in the UFC. Far from it. But I do think some of their top guys, mainly their champs, i.e. Chandler, Curran, and Askren would be a tough fight for anyone on the UFC’s roster.

          • AXE MURDERER

            not to mention Alverez, plus sometimes its cool to see the vets vs some new up and comer!

          • fsunoles10

            i think chandler and curran would be alright but askren would be moving into a stacked division where he would come right over and fight top guys and i dont think he can handle that just yet. his wrestling is sick but there is always somebody that can stuff you and the ufc would be the place it happens at if it does.

          • fsunoles10

            also to add to my comment i think askren would end up being the best of the bunch but i just think he would have a tough time in the ufc’s welterweight division at first but i cant see chandler or curran ultimately being ufc champs as good as they are like i possibly could with askren just to make clear what i meant by them being alright.

    • ned sto

      The UFC isn’t going to house every MMA athlete available. As the sports popularity increases, more organizations will appear. At the start the UFC bought up the other orgs, or their talent.
      But now you can see that Bellator is a bit too big for the UFC to buy out, and even though the popular opinion is that the talent pool is substandard vs the UFC ,it will eventually even out. You can already see it start to happen.
      Even if the UFC went all in and bought out Bellator, it would only make room for another organization to start up to pick up the bleed over talent.
      Soon the UFC won’t scout much knew talent, but will scoop them up from Bellator or other smaller organizations that will develop the fighters skills and popularity that the UFC can capitalize on.

  • AXE MURDERER

    Kongo can fight Rich Hale 6′-4″, 265 lbs, 21 – 5 record. if he wins he can fight the bellator champ 6′-7″ Volkov.
    i dont see him doing the tourney?

  • LR

    I don’t get why you guys are giving Cheick s*** for going to Bellator. He probably knows his career is winding down and he wants to go out on a decent note, so he’s going to a still decently known organization and pad his record for a handful of fights and then head out.
    What is wrong with that?

    • DamianCross

      What’s wrong with it is that Bellator isn’t the highly advertised organization we are already familiar with and anything new or different should be burned at the stake and sent away.

      • BAM

        Speaking like a true ufc nuthugger. Who the hell cares. If you know anything about sport and FIGHTING in real life Not everything can work out your way as you planned. People as fighters have to work there way up somewhere. Bellator is a place to be. If i was you damiancross you should shut the hell up because you don’t know what your talking about.

        • DamianCross

          don’t tell him. he might crack.

        • iLogos

          Your like twelve right? Stephen Colbert is a right wing nutjob in your world isn’t he?

      • lesnarules

        Does it really matter dude ? Kongo has been with UFC for years and he knows he’s not ever getting a title shot. Even if he did get some solid wins over top guys , Dana clearly doesn’t care about rankings he cares about the guy who sells the most.this frustrates a lot
        Of people. Bellator might not be very well known but it is growing pretty fast, and if Dana keeps pissing off fighters he’s going to have some competition on his hands.

  • Tyme_5

    What an odd pick up for Bellator. I’m not going to say Kongo doesn’t have anything left in the tank, but he certainly isn’t someone I thought Bellator would be interested in. Guess when you have a HW division as weak as theirs is, you have to take what you can get.

    • ned sto

      It’s really hard to have a deep HW division, guys of that size usually win fights because of size and not skill. Kongo is a skilled HW, even if he is one dimensional. He’s also popular, even if he isn’t well liked.

  • melody jones

    That’s hilarious! Did I read the article right? Did the author say he ” left the UFC” !?? ThAts too funny. Yes cheik Congo left the ufc to fight for bellator. Try he got cut by the ufc .

    • PhranktheTank

      Technically you can’t get cut when you’re not under contract. His contract ended.

    • ned sto

      The UFC offered Kongo a contract prior to his last bout. Kongo turned it down in hopes of negotiating a better contract after he won. Well, he lost that fight, and the UFC did not re offer a new contract, nor did they match Bellator’s offer.
      For a grown up, I would expect you to keep up better.

  • Baller31

    Bellator is becoming a retirement home for UFC fighters…

    • Milosc

      So was Strikeforce. Look what keeps happening…

      • Baller31

        That’s true to a certain extent ……you think the UFC will swallow up Bellator too?

        • barnettoo

          no. SF wasn’t really a retirement home for HWs.

          The HW division in SF is really what the UFC wanted.

          But in the days where all top 10 HWs, LHWs, and MWs are in the UFC, I don’t see any incentive for the UFC to buy Bellator.

  • Kris-tyahn

    Kongo going to Bellator is the best thing for him, his healthy & his career. Let’s be honest here, Cheick wasn’t getting a title shot any time soon, and if by some miracle he did, he’d get KTFO. Kongo needs a few wins to help get some confidence back & he might as well be a “big” fish in a small pond, than a small fish in a big pond! If Cheick does become the Bellator HW Champ, I’m sure he’ll get paid more money than figthing for the UFC on the under card, b/c Kongo cannot hang with the top UFC HW’s. Could he beat any top 10 HW’s in the UFC? I think not!