Bellator MMA is heading back to the “Lone Star State,” where a heavyweight bout pitting Cheick Kongo (24-10-2) against Tony Johnson (10-2) will serve as the main event of “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson,” which takes place on September 16 at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Texas, and will air LIVE and FREE on SPIKE.
The Scott Coker-led promotion will be holding its first-ever event at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, which is just a short drive from Austin. Tickets for “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson” starting at $25 can be purchased at Bellator.com, Ticketmaster, or the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park Box Office starting next Friday, July 29 with an exclusive Bellator Nation pre-sale running the Wednesday and Thursday prior. Additional contests will be announced in the coming weeks.
Hailing from Paris, Kongo will enter the cage for the ninth time under the direction of Bellator MMA and make his third consecutive appearance in a card’s main event. An 18-fight veteran of the UFC, Kongo hopes to add to his current two-fight winning streak and 6-2 mark since joining the Viacom-owned promotion back in 2013. Standing 6 foot 4, Kongo will have a noticeable height advantage over his shorter opponent. With half of his 24 career wins coming by way of knockout, Kongo will also attempt to finish Johnson for the first time of his professional career.
A native of North Platte, Nebraska, Johnson has strung together an impressive streak of three straight victories, including two in a row since re-joining the Bellator MMA fray. After making his professional debut in 2008, the 30-year-old made his Bellator MMA debut with a unanimous decision win over Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis at “Bellator 46.” Since challenging current UFC Champion Daniel Cormier in 2010, Johnson has gone 6-1 with three knockout finishes, including noteworthy victories over Alexander Volkov and most recently Raphael Butler, during “Bellator 148: Daley vs. Uhrich” earlier this year.