September 11, 2009

by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is set to return to the Octagon to face French striker Cheick Kongo. Sources close to the situation confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Thursday that the fight is verbally agreed to, but bout agreements have not been signed.

Though recent reports suggested the bout could headline UFC 105 in Manchester, England, MMAWeekly.com sources indicated that it would take place on Dec. 12 at UFC 107 in Memphis, Tenn.

Mir (12-4) recently got knocked off the rails of a three-fight winning streak, losing his interim heavyweight champion designation in a title unification bout against champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 100. It was a rematch of their fight at UFC 81, where Mir welcomed the former WWE superstar to the Octagon by submitting him with a kneebar. He then won the interim designation when he became the first man to stop Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Kongo (14-5-1) was widely considered to be a step away from a UFC heavyweight title shot before he was unable to get out from under a smothering Cain Velasquez at UFC 99, losing a unanimous decision. Kongo has amassed a 7-3 record during his tenure with the UFC, winning three straight fights prior to the loss to Velasquez.

A bout pitting Ultimate Fighter 10 coaches Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans against each other was the original headline bout for UFC 107. That fight was recently supplanted by a UFC lightweight title defense, pitting champion B.J. Penn against Diego Sanchez.

Originally counting on Jackson’s hometown popularity, the TUF coaches were removed from the card when Jackson’s acting commitments to a Hollywood remake of popular 1980s television show “The A-Team” conflicted with the bout.