Cheick Kongo latest UFC veteran signed by Bellator

Cheick Kongo latest UFC veteran signed by Bellator

After bringing in former UFC champion Quinton Jackson and a handful of other fighters with recent ties to the Octagon, it is clear Bellator is ramping up for a season unlike any other in the organization’s history. However, the promotion clearly isn’t done putting the pieces in place, as heavyweight Cheick Kongo has also been inked to a deal.

MMAWeekly was first to report the Frenchman’s signing. Kongo’s contract with the UFC expired a little more than a month ago. He was apparently offered a new deal but decided to pass in favor of Bellator’s proposal.

Kongo is 18-8-2 with ten knockouts to his credit. Though he is coming off a loss to Roy Nelson, the 38-year old slugger owns past wins against Mirko Filipovic, Matt Mitrione, and Pat Barry.

No timetable was mentioned for Kongo’s official unveiling.

15 COMMENTS
  • waitetr says:

    So much for Bellator wanting to “develop their own talent”. Wonder if the sudden infusion of Viacom cash is pushing them to sign all these UFC castoffs.

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Sudden infusion of Viacom pressure/influence too.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Probably a little bit of it is damage control with all the recent bad press they are getting since the Eddie thing, if they can sign relative names, then they can claim they are better then the UFC since they got those fighters to jump ship.

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Excellent point.

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  • waitetr says:

    @Alpha except Kongo is the first to really jump ship since he supposedly had an offer from the UFC. However, Rampage was probably out, or very close to it, after a 3 fight losing streak and John Alessio has never had much if any success in the UFC.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    We know that, but the average MMA fan most likely doesn’t, and to them it’ll look like Bellator has coerced them to come over with more money and a partial TNA contract.

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  • MCM says:

    I don’t know Alpha. Guys like Rampage definitely had a name and Kongo was recognizable if not a big star. But guys like Alessio, Vlady, Sass, Guyman and Riddle just aren’t on most casuals radar. While I understand picking up fighters like Sass, and even Riddle and Kongo (considering how weak their HW division is), picking up “names” like Sobral, Vlady, and Rampage just seem like cleaning up Zuffa’s scraps as opposed to building their own brand.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    I have a rebuttal, but first is Vlady, Matishanko? I know I spelled that wrong, if not, then my rebuttal goes out the window

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  • MCM says:

    yes, Vlady is Vladimir Matyushenko. Rebutt a way.

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  • darth_irritable says:

    These guys are rapidly becoming the TNA of MMA.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    It’s probably mostly opinion, but I don’t really see Vlad as scraps of the UFC, he’s still a good fighter, and I think a few wins gets him back with the UFC.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    And darth, well they are in partnership with TNA so it’s only natural I guess.

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  • darth_irritable says:

    Alpha, sadly, I know.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    Kongo i can understand, he’s probably straight in as number 3 or 4 in their HW rankings, so shallow is their division. Even Rampage & Vlad will be straight in as top 3 LHW. And i’m a huge Rampage fan, always have been, but i dont want to see him in Bellator. His days of putting on fun fights are gone. and for me Bellator has always been about having mad fun, thats why i watch it. i love the unknown fighters on the prelims, some of them are fucking hilarious to watch, and some blow you away and become the next tournament entries. there was one kid last year who was hands down the most camp and least ferocious looking fighter in the history of the world ever, and he destroyed his opponent, and it was awesome! and i cant wait to see the lad fight again. I loved what they were doing with Brazilian and Russian fighters, bringing in top unknown guys and letting them develop into killing machines that could now rival a lot of UFC roster fighters. But these latest moves aren’t good. They’re not even fun fighters to watch.
    i dont want my Bellator fucked with, i been watching it since its birth, with Spanish commentary, and i dont want it to become Strikeforce

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  • MCM says:

    “i dont want my Bellator fucked with, ….. i dont want it to become Strikeforce” – hindsightufuk

    Exactly!
    Eddie Alvarez, Lombard, Askren, Pat Curran, Michael Chandler all cracked the world top 10 inside Bellator. Then you’ve got guys like Shlemenko, Rick Hawn, Doug Lima, Frodo, Dave Rickles, etc. all building up names for themselves without ever being associated with the UFC.

    Bellator has always been very good at building their own fighters and brand but bringing in guys like Vlady (whom I love IFL NEVER DIE!), Rampage, Sobral etc. seems to be following the same path as SF, EXC, Affliction and all the rest of the failed orgs that tried to go head to head with Zuffa by using their fighters.

    It feels like there’s all the TV execs that think they know how “sports” are run and they jump in to MMA, like it’s a fad, and go out and buy every big name “player” they can thinking that’s gonna create a wining “team”. All that ever does is water down an already great product. Sam Adams brewery didn’t compete with Anheuser Bush buy poring BudLight in their bottles.

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