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Cheick Kongo: “I came here to win and I will win. I’m going to knock him out.”

Cheick Kongo has been fighting MMA since 2001 compiling a career record of 16-6-2 in the sport since. He is hoping that experience will help carry him past Matt Mitrione when the two heavyweights meet in the co-main event of UFC 137 Saturday night from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kongo is 2-0-1 in his last three fights, working past a two-fight losing streak to current UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez and former UFC title-holder Frank Mir. The 36-year-old is currently training with Quinton Jackson at the Wolfslair MMA Academy in England.

While “Meathead” presents another great challenge, having won all five of his MMA fights since his stint on The Ultimate Fighter 10, Kongo is planning on not letting Mitrione further make a name for himself this weekend.

“Everyone gets a chance to face someone famous. It’s a good thing for him. Matt is a likable guy and has done well so far; I respect him as a fighter and expect for him to give a good fight,” said Kongo, in a recent interview with UFC’s website. “Ultimately, he’s going to be ready for the bout. I’ve fought for so many years and been so careful. I learn a lot from my last mistakes and I will do my best.”

Kongo seemed to be well on his way to possibly fighting for the UFC title before Velasquez earned a decision victory over him in 2009. The Mir loss came later that year but Kongo has gotten himself back on track since by defeating Paul Buentello and Pat Barry.

“If I get the chance to fight (for the title), I would be happy,” Kongo said. “I know the line is very long, but hopefully, yes, I would like to fight for the belt as soon as possible.”

“Rampage” Jackson, who is working alongside Kongo, it excited for the fight, saying, “Matt brings it and Kongo ain’t scared to bring it.”

On the subject of coming into every fight with the goal of finishing a foe, Kongo is approaching Mitrione in the same way, making a bold prediction on the outcome of this weekend’s offering.

“I came here to win and I will win. I’m going to knock him out,” Kongo concluded on the match-up with Mitrione.


  • Rece Rock says:

    I like Mitrione in this match up… Kingo was out on his feet 2x during the HD fight, his luck will run out after this fight…. Matt has the killer instinct Barry lacks.

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  • Rece Rock says:


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  • THEGUNNER says:

    Id like to see kongo get the k o. I have a feeling matts gonna go for groung game.

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  • edub says:

    I will be putting an awful lot of money down on Mitrione in Atlantic City this weekend. Biggest bet I’m about to make in my life.

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  • MCM says:

    I like Mitrione. I like him a lot more than I like Kongo. But “Cup” Cheick is a much more accomplished striker than Matt and although Matt hits hard, he doesn’t hit any harder than the guys Kongo has faced before. He also has some of the best GnP in the game, and even though Mitrione’s ground game is not bad, the only person to ever make Kongo tap was arguably the best BJJ fighter in the HW division.
    I won’t be surprised to see Matt win, but logically, I’ve got to go with Kongo.

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  • Dont forget MCM Mir didnt tap kongo, he put him to sleep, so Kongo’s defense and will to not tap are pretty high up there. Im taking Matt partially because I really like the guy and partially because I believe he’ll remain unbeaten until he challenges for a title someday. The guy is learning and an incredible rate and has the perfect attitude to match. Kongo hits really hard but Matt does too and I think Matt’s mobility is what will fell Cup Chieck in this one.

    So excited for this whole card even with the Condit vs. GSP fight gone. Its gonna be a beer and wings fest at my house…hopefully i stay sober enough to recount it with ya’ll the next day.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I am hopeing for Matt to win big here also, he seems to have everything needed to beat Kongo, a good gas tank, good TDD, and solid striking and a good chin. Kongo showed a lot of heart last fight and way more than I thought he had but I think he is overmatched here.

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  • Dufresne says:

    I think Kongo probably has the advantage in striking power and probably technique as well, but I think Mitrione has the advantage in overall athleticism and speed. Kongo hasn’t shown good head movement or footwork in any of fights lately and it’s cost him. He got dropped by Mir and choked out and he would have gotten put away by Barry if Barry hadn’t dropped his defenses going for the finish. If Mitrione gets Kongo hurt like that I don’t think he’ll do the same. He showed a lot of maturity and composure in his last fight against Morecraft so I don’t think he’ll get ahead of himself and get sloppy. But that all depends on Mitrione managing to get Kongo hurt.
    If the fight hits the ground with more than a minute left in the round, I fully expect whoever is on top to finish the fight.

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