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Cheick Kongo turned down tilt with Roy Nelson

The UFC recently was sent looking for a heavyweight to fill a spot previously occupied by the injured Shane Carwin in a bout against Roy Nelson at the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale. The name the organization ultimately plucked for the pairing was Matt Mitrione, a relatively raw but talented competitor. However, it appears Mitrione was the UFC’s second choice for the scrap.

According to UFC President Dana White, imposing Frenchman Cheick Kongo was given an opportunity to face Nelson and passed. No reason was given for Kongo’s decision, though it seems like time should not have been a factor given the show’s date of December 15.

The 18-7 Kongo is coming off a decision win over Shawn Jordan in July and hasn’t been booked since. The victory was his third in four fights, one of which came against Mitrione as chance would have it.