Cheick Kongo Turned Down Fight Against Daniel Cormier on Short Notice; Wants Stefan Struve

November 21, 2012
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UFC president Dana White recently revealed that heavyweight Cheick Kongo had turned down two separate fights offered by the promotion.

Just last week, Kongo was offered to step in on short notice to face Roy Nelson at The Ultimate Fighter finale in December when original opponent Shane Carwin was forced out of the fight due to injury.

The other fight had never been revealed until Tuesday when Kongo let the cat out of the bag when responding to a fan via Twitter.

According to the French heavyweight, the other fight he was offered, again on short notice, was a bout against Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce.

When asked by a fan who Kongo declined to fight, he responded, “Cormier, short notice”.

Cormier lost his original opponent, Frank Mir, due to injury for a scheduled fight card on Nov. 3 in Oklahoma City. When a suitable replacement couldn’t be found, and other bouts were also scrapped due to injury, the entire card had to be cancelled.

Kongo has stood by his decision to turn down the fights stating, “I did not refuse to fight Roy Nelson. I refused to take a fight on short notice, which is not the same at all.”

White doesn’t necessarily agree with Kongo when talking about fighters stepping up on short notice when the promotion needs them.

“It’s a lot more normal with guys who are worried about losing. Guys who are in a position where if they lose, you know what I mean? You’re either fighters or you’re not. If you win, you win, if you lose, back to the drawing board,” said White.

“That’s the business you’re in. When you turn down a fight, you turn down a fight, and that’s two in a row (for Kongo). I don’t know who he’s waiting for.”

For his part, Kongo has worked to do a little of his own matchmaking with fellow heavyweight Stefan Struve, as they discussed fighting one another via Twitter on Tuesday, but no offer has been made yet by the UFC for the fight to actually come to fruition.

Stay tuned to for all the latest UFC news and updates.

  • Hundou

    Dana White is such a moron when it comes to stuff like this. When asking Kongo to take a fight on short notice, that is not the same as asking a tiddlywinks player to take up a game.

    Firstly, both Nelson and Courmier are dangerous and elite fighters (Yes Roy is!) They have gone through full preparation and a training camp. Kongo hasn’t. Dana is not going to offer him any sympathy when he takes another loss on his record due to being under prepared.

    Secondly, it’s a fight. No fight is a joke. You risk getting seriously hurt, knocked out. Forget the humiliation of hundreds of thousands watching you gas out, or look awful. What makes you train hard is a sense of pride. Why would Kongo want to do that to himsellf?

    White thinks he can roll in with his uncle Sam smile and give it the whole “this is s great opportunity for you kid” bull ****. White only cares about himself.

    Well done Kongo, stick it to the man. Kongo needs to win his next fight, and he needs to be at his best. That means a proper training camp and preferably an opponent he can train for.

    • leaf

      Lol grow up. Every job is the exact same way. If you were employed you’d know that. If you do your job and perform well, than you will live to fight another day.
      Could you imagine if your boss, when you get one, calked and asked you to do a project and you refused because you needed more prep time!?? Lol
      If you’re working then you’re always ready mentally each day to do your job. If you’re a fighter then you’re always training waiting for that call from dana. Kongo should care enough about his job to be ready to show his boss and the public that he cares and is ready to fight. These pro fighters only get paid because we pay to see them. Not just a few bloggers like yourself. Men and women who are employed looking to spend their hard earned money on sports. Why would any person with common sense pat to see Kongo fight after his later few performances and his ” I don’t feel like fighting attitude”. Kongo should be dying to get in there and show his boss and his paying public that he is worth the price of admission.

      • Kongos last fight was pretty bad.

      • Hundou

        I’m sorry I couldn’t hear you properly. Try taking your head out of your bosses ass you slave.

      • MuayThaiFood

        First of all you can’t compare UFC fighters to employees working your average 9-5 job. I don’t know what you do for a living and it’s really not important but I’m willing to bet you that if you do something for your employer on short notice and it’s not your usual quality of work that you aren’t at risk of having your orbital bone broke or your nose moved to the side of your face.

        Second, I’d be pretty pissed if my employer aired all of my disagreements with him to everyone at the company, let alone the whole world via Twitter or some other media outlet. Apparently HR has little influence over Dana’s dealings with fighters.

        Lastly, the UFC treats it’s fighters somewhere between independent contractors and employees. Really, they want the best of both worlds, so whatever is most advantageous for their own interests at the time. They are very arbitrary in the way they deal with individual fighters in similar situations so the fighters can never assume that if they scratch Dana’s back that he will reciprocate later.

        When you talk about laying your hard earned cash down to watch a fight and then compare the way you earn yours to the way a UFC fighter earns his it sounds a bit naive.

        • bjjmma

          Well said, MuayThaiFood.

  • octawhat

    “You’re either fighters or you’re not. If you win, you win, if you lose, back to the drawing board,”

    I think DW needs to look at the precedent that the UFC has set before making statements like the above.

    Fighters don’t just lose, and go back to the drawing board. Many fear for their job security, and if they lose a fight due to taking it on short notice – then lose their next fight, they are close to being laid off. So why take the risk of not being fully prepared for a bout.

    When a fighter takes a bout on short notice, he should be celebrated. If he refuses it – it shouldn’t be held against him, because he is effectively doing the boss a favor.

    Now if Kongo refuses fights that he has plenty of time to train for, then that’s a different story. Also, any problems between boss/employee should not be aired in public via interviews, and verbal bashing’s.

    If the UFC wants to avoid these kind of headaches, maybe they should instigate an injury reserve system – where a fighter is told to train just in case he is required to fill in, he signs the contract (in advance) and is paid a set amount even if he is not utilized. It’s not as if the UFC couldn’t afford it.

    • rupert

      I think thats a great idea

    • dathump

      I like that idea as well, even if it is only for main and co-main events. Like you I don’t agree with bashing Kongo or any other fighter for not taking a fight. I am not 100% sure how the UFC pay structure goes, but i don’t believe the UFC pays them other then fight time. On top of that Kongo isn’t a title contender, he is a good journeymen fighter, if he only planned on 2 fights a year and trained accordingly he might not be in fight shape. Its a little different with up and coming title hungry fighters, they on the other hand should be ready for the call at all times if thay want to fasttrack their title shot.

    • bjjmma

      I agree. And great idea.

      I think another precedent the UFC has set is that it, the corporation as a whole, is really only going to be looking out for itself and its best interests. So why shouldn’t the fighters? Both have every right to do so and should.

      I also think it’s not the fighters problem if the UFC can’t come up with or doesn’t have a backup plan for fights that fall through (I think the above suggested injury reserve is more than a great place to start). After all, they’re just there to fight, not make corporate decisions for the company. And, they shouldn’t even have to be faced with or feel the slightest pressure from anyone in the UFC regarding the cancellation of a show. For example the cancelling of UFC 151 wasn’t Jones’ fault, that was Dana’s/the UFC corporation’s fault. Period. I lost a lot of respect for Dana for saying what he said and handling it the way he did.

      I think the bottom line is that the UFC doesn’t and isn’t going to assist these fighters in career management, why should they? It’s not their business (their business is to conquer the world with their brand). But they are going to expect the fighters to fulfill the contracts that they signed. So I think it is wise for any fighter to really see what is best for them and their career, talk it over with people they trust and know how these things work before just jumping at whatever carrot the UFC dangles in front of them. That’s all the UFC is doing which is simply just looking out for itself so why should they expect any less from their fighters/employees?

      So don’t jeer them and goad them on for not doing what you wanted them to, Dana, you moron.

  • bajafox

    If these fighters are so worried about losing a fight they took on short notice and risk getting cut they should just write it into their contract that win or lose, the UFC cannot use it against them. Problem solved, now take the fight.

  • frank

    kongo is gunna get eaten alive I think that him and stipe are similar and seeing at how struve has just been rapidly developing his game like a bullet struve will be bigger stronger and more skilled on this one

  • Kongo always comes in shape and has talent. He’s had some tough losses and some good fights. He should have taken the chance to fight DC. Bad move business wise and career wise for the sport. Now he probably has fans bad mouthing him and Dana pissed off. I like Kongo and all but who is he to turn down fights and want a certain fight, especially against Struve whos only 3 losses are to top guys and spread out.

  • Poeger


  • julian moran

    I like Kongo vs Struve.