|Born||Cheick Guillaume Ouedraogo
May 17, 1975
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||239 lb (108 kg; 17 st 1 lb)|
|Division||Heavyweight (265 lb)|
|Reach||82 in (208 cm)|
|Team||Kongo Smashin' Club
Wolfslair MMA Academy
|Rank||‹See Tfm› Black belt in Karate
‹See Tfm› Black belt in Kendo
‹See Tfm› Brown belt in Pencak Silat Setia Hati Terate
|Years active||2001–present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Born to a Burkinabé father and a Congolese mother, Kongo began training in martial arts when he was 5 years old, learning Kendo and Karate. As he grew older, he had already received black belt from both styles and began to expand his repertoire and trained in Muay Thai, kickboxing, Savate and Greco-Roman wrestling at age of 16. At age 19, he studied Pencak Silat Setia Hati Terate, an Indonesian martial art, and was coached by Charles Joussot and Franck Ropers, men who brought silat to France. He is also a cousin of rugby star Fulgence Ouedraogo, the French back-rower. Cheick is also a columnist for the French MMA magazine, Top Fight.
Mixed martial arts career
On June 10, 2001, Kongo began his professional career by knocking out Doog Ward. Kongo then followed up that win with a TKO over Dave van der Veen. He then lost his third professional MMA fight to Rodney Faverus by decision. He faced Gilbert Yvel on May 20, losing for the second time in his career when he tapped to strikes in the second round. He trained with Anderson Silva and Wanderlei Silva in the early days of Pride Fighting Championships.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Kongo entered the UFC to fight Gilbert Aldana at UFC 61, whom he beat by TKO due to a doctor stoppage. Kongo followed up with a win over UFC newcomer Christian Wellisch by KO due to a knee strike, before losing to UFC newcomer Carmelo Marrero at UFC 64. Then, Kongo defeated Assuerio Silva by majority decision at UFC 70. At UFC 75 on September 8, 2007, he defeated Mirko Filipović by unanimous decision. The fight was surrounded with some controversy because Kongo delivered 3 illegal groin knees and did not have any points deducted. He fought against Heath Herring at UFC 82, losing by split decision. At UFC 87 he fought against UFC newcomer Dan "The Viking" Evensen, whom he defeated by first-round TKO.
Kongo fought at UFC 92 on December 27, 2008 where he beat former Cage Rage British Heavyweight champion Mustapha al-Turk by TKO. Kongo dropped Al Turk with two right hands. Then fired on a vicious ground and pound attack, Kongo pounced on al-Turk with elbows and punches, opening up a big cut above the eye. Referee Steve Mazzagatti stopped the fight after 4:37 of the first round. This fight was also somewhat controversial because Kongo hit al-Turk with a groin knee prior to the stoppage. In his next fight he then defeated Antoni Hardonk at UFC 97 by second-round TKO.
Kongo replaced Heath Herring on three weeks notice at UFC 99 to face the up-and-coming Cain Velasquez in the co-main event. Kongo lost to Velasquez by unanimous decision in a one-sided affair. He did however, manage to drop Velasquez on two occasions with straight punches. It had been rumoured that if he was to defeat Velasquez, Kongo would earn a title shot against the winner of the UFC 100 Heavyweight Championship between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir. Mir lost his bout against Lesnar and actually ended up fighting Kongo at UFC 107. During the pre-fight talk, Mir stated that Kongo had no ground game, so at the weigh ins Cheick Kongo turned his back to Mir, to be disrespectful. Mir won the fight by a submission. After connecting with a left overhand punch that dropped Kongo, Mir finished him with a guillotine choke, rendering Kongo unconscious just 72 seconds into the first round.
Kongo was expected to face The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Roy Nelson on July 3, 2010, at UFC 116 but a back injury to Kongo has caused the cancellation of the fight. Kongo would end up fighting Nelson almost 3 years later at UFC 159.
Kongo fought Pat Barry on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4. His fight against Barry became the main event since Nate Marquardt was not medically cleared for his welterweight debut against Rick Story. During the bout Kongo was dropped by a looping right hand. Visibly rocked, Kongo got back to his feet but was dropped again seconds later by another hard punch. Despite being dropped twice, Kongo was able to knock Barry out with a hard overhand right to the ear, followed by an uppercut to the chin to secure a win midway through the first round.
Kongo was expected to face Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira on July 21, 2012 at UFC 149. However, Nogueira pulled out of the bout, citing that an arm injury sustained in his last bout against Frank Mir had not healed enough to resume the proper training and was replaced by Shawn Jordan. Kongo defeated Jordan via unanimous decision.
Kongo finally faced Roy Nelson on April 27, 2013 at UFC 159, a bout that was supposed to happen almost 3 years before at UFC 116. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round. After his loss to Nelson, Kongo's UFC contract expired and he was released from the UFC.
Before UFC 159 the UFC offered Kongo a 4 fight deal, which he turned down.
On May 4, 2013 Kongo stated that he is on good terms with the UFC and was quoted saying: "Don't believe he said-she said stories. I have not been cut by the UFC. I am Cheick Kongo so I know best what's next for me. It doesn't mean that I am leaving the UFC, it doesn't mean that I am staying – it means this is my life." Kongo has stated that he is open to the possibility of resigning a contract with the UFC.
Shortly after it was announced that Cheick's teammate Rampage Jackson was going to Bellator, it was stated that Kongo will be following his teammate. Kongo's move to Bellator was official on August 28, 2013.
Kongo vs. Queiroz was then expected to take place on November 8, 2013 at Bellator 107. However, Queiroz was later forced to withdraw from the bout due to a knee injury and was replaced by Peter Graham. Kongo won the fight via unanimous decision.
Kongo faced undefeated Bellator Heavyweight Champion Vitaly Minakov at Bellator 115 on April 4, 2014. He lost the back-and-forth fight via unanimous decision. Kongo faced Eric Smith at Bellator 120 on May 17, 2014. He won the fight via TKO by way of knees & punches at 4:35 of Round 2.
Kongo faced fellow striker Lavar Johnson at Bellator 123 on September 5, 2014. He won the fight via rear-naked choke submission in the first round. This marked his first submission win, that wasn't due to stirkes, since 2003.
Championships and achievements
- 2005 World Champion Federation King of the Rings
- 2005 King of Colosseum tournament champion
- 2005 Rings World champion
- 2004 King of the Ring Heavyweight champion
- 2004 Muay Thai World champion
- 2003 Intercontinental Muay Thai champion
- 2002 Rings European champion
- 2001 Rings European Vice champion
- European Savate champion
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Kings of The Ring
- Kings of The Ring Super World Champion -103 kg
- World MMA Awards
- 2011 Comeback of the Year
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|35 matches||23 wins||10 losses|
|Win||23–10–2||Alexander Volkov||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 139||June 26, 2015||3||5:00||Mulvane, Kansas, United States|
|Loss||22–10–2||Muhammed Lawal||Decision (split)||Bellator 134||February 27, 2015||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||22–9–2||Lavar Johnson||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Bellator 123||September 5, 2014||1||3:27||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||21–9–2||Eric Smith||TKO (knees and punches)||Bellator 120||May 17, 2014||2||4:35||Southaven, Mississippi, United States|
|Loss||20–9–2||Vitaly Minakov||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 115||April 4, 2014||5||5:00||Reno, Nevada, United States||For the Bellator Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||20–8–2||Peter Graham||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 107||November 8, 2013||3||5:00||Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States||Bellator Season 9 Heavyweight Tournament Final.|
|Win||19–8–2||Mark Godbeer||TKO (knees and punches)||Bellator 102||October 4, 2013||2||2:04||Visalia, California, United States||Bellator Season 9 Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal.|
|Loss||18–8–2||Roy Nelson||KO (punches)||UFC 159||April 27, 2013||1||2:03||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||18–7–2||Shawn Jordan||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 149||July 21, 2012||3||5:00||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|Loss||17–7–2||Mark Hunt||TKO (punches)||UFC 144||February 26, 2012||1||2:11||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||17–6–2||Matt Mitrione||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 137||October 29, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||16–6–2||Pat Barry||KO (punch)||UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry||June 26, 2011||1||2:39||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States||Knockout of the Night. Knockout of the Year (2011).|
|Draw||15–6–2||Travis Browne||Draw (unanimous)||UFC 120||October 16, 2010||3||5:00||London, England||Kongo docked 1 point in third round for holding Browne's shorts.|
|Win||15–6–1||Paul Buentello||Submission (elbows to the thigh)||UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones||March 21, 2010||3||1:16||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||14–6–1||Frank Mir||Technical Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 107||December 12, 2009||1||1:12||Memphis, Tennessee, United States|
|Loss||14–5–1||Cain Velasquez||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 99||June 13, 2009||3||5:00||Cologne, Germany|
|Win||14–4–1||Antoni Hardonk||TKO (punches)||UFC 97||April 18, 2009||2||2:29||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Win||13–4–1||Mostapha al-Turk||TKO (elbows and punches)||UFC 92||December 27, 2008||1||4:37||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||12–4–1||Dan Evensen||TKO (punches)||UFC 87||August 9, 2008||1||4:55||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Loss||11–4–1||Heath Herring||Decision (split)||UFC 82||March 1, 2008||3||5:00||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Win||11–3–1||Mirko Filipović||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 75||September 8, 2007||3||1:36||London, England|
|Win||10–3–1||Assuerio Silva||Decision (majority)||UFC 70||April 21, 2007||3||5:00||Manchester, England|
|Loss||9–3–1||Carmelo Marrero||Decision (split)||UFC 64||October 14, 2006||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||9–2–1||Christian Wellisch||KO (knee)||UFC 62||August 26, 2006||1||2:51||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||8–2–1||Gilbert Aldana||TKO (doctor stoppage)||UFC 61||July 8, 2006||1||4:13||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||7–2–1||Dave Dalgliesh||TKO (punches)||Rings Holland: Men of Honor||December 11, 2005||2||N/A||Utrecht City, Utrecht|
|Win||6–2–1||Gabor Nemeth||KO (punches)||Kings of the Ring: Mission Impossible||June 4, 2005||2||N/A||Zagreb, Croatia||Won Kings Of The Ring Heavyweight Championship.|
|Loss||5–2–1||Gilbert Yvel||TKO (punches)||It's Showtime 2004 Amsterdam||May 20, 2004||2||4:40||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Win||5–1–1||Joop Kasteel||KO (punch)||Rings Holland: World's Greatest||April 4, 2004||1||4:31||Utrecht City, Utrecht|
|Win||4–1–1||Dave Vader||Decision (unanimous)||Rings Holland: The Untouchables||September 27, 2003||3||2:00||Utrecht City, Utrecht|
|Win||3–1–1||Hans Nijman||Submission (armbar)||It's Showtime 2003 Amsterdam||June 8, 2003||2||0:59||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Draw||2–1–1||Michael Knaap||Draw (unanimous)||It's Showtime – As Usual / Battle Time||September 29, 2002||2||5:00||Haarlem, North Holland|
|Loss||2–1||Rodney Faverus||Decision (unanimous)||Rings Holland: Saved by the Bell||June 2, 2002||2||5:00||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Win||2–0||Dave van der Veen||TKO (punches)||Rings Holland: Some Like It Hard||December 2, 2001||2||1:25||Utrecht City, Utrecht|
|Win||1–0||André Tete||Submission (heel hook)||Rings Holland: No Guts, No Glory||June 10, 2001||1||3:20||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
Kickboxing record (Incomplete)
|21 wins (12 KO's), 2 losses
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest
- "Kongo Smashin' Club". Retrieved 2015-07-06.
- "UFC 61 Results" (PDF). Boxing.nv.gov. 2006-07-08. Retrieved 2006-07-08.
- English – Cheick Kongo. Team-kongo.over-blog.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-04.
- UFC 92 Play-by-Play
- The Huffington Post – UK News and Opinion. Mma.fanhouse.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-04.
- "Penn Dominates, Finishes Sanchez at UFC 107". SHERDOG.com. 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2010-04-12.
- "Cheick Kongo vs Paul Buentello booked for UFC on Versus 1". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- "Cheick Kongo: injured, no confirmation on Roy Nelson matchup nor UFC 116 return". RIDDUM.com. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- Marrocco, Steven. (2010-07-02) Heavyweights Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne targeted for UFC 120. MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved on 2011-08-04.
- "Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo on tap for UFC on Versus 4 in June". mmajunkie.com. 2011-03-14.
- "Nate Marquardt Scratched From "UFC On Versus," Released From UFC". SB Nation. 2011-06-25. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- "UFC 137: Cheick Kongo vs Matt Mitrione fight booked for Oct. 29 in Las Vegas". mmamania.com. 2011-07-14.
- "Chieck Kongo vs. Mark Hunt Verbally Agreed to for UFC 144 in Japan". mmaweekly.com. 2011-11-20.
- "Cheick Kongo vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira added to UFC 149 in Calgary". mmajunkie.com. 2012-04-24.
- "Shawn Jordan replaces 'Big Nog,' meets Cheick Kongo at UFC 149". mmajunkie.com. June 16, 2012.
- "Kongo vs. Nelson added to UFC 159". mmajunkie.com. January 29, 2013.
- MMAjunkie.com Staff (May 1, 2013). "Cheick Kongo fulfills contract, UFC not planning to re-sign him". mmajunkie.com.
- "Kongo leaves UFC on own terms will continue fighting outside the octagon". bjpenn.com. 2013-05-01.
- http://www.mmajunkie.com/news/2013/05/cheick-kongo-issues-statement-on-potential-to-resign-with-ufc. Missing or empty
- "Kongo follows Rampage Jackson to Bellator MMA". mmaweekly.com. 2013-06-04.
- "UFC vet Cheick Kongo signs with Bellator for Season 9 Heavyweight Tournament". mmaweekly.com. 2013-08-28.
- "Bellator 102 gets Kongo vs Godbeer, Johnson vs Queiroz". mmafighting.com. 2013-09-24.
- "Cheick Kongo vs Vinicius Queiroz tourney final added to Bellator 106 PPV". mmajunkie.com. 2013-10-14.
- "With PPV canceled, Cheick Kongo vs Vinicius Queiroz now headlines Bellator 107". mmajunkie.com. 2013-10-26.
- "Injury knock Vinicius Queiroz from Bellator 107 and tourney final vs Kongo". mmajunkie.com. 2013-10-26.
- "Cheick Kongo vs Peter Graham leads three tournament finals at Bellator 107". mmafighting.com. 2013-10-30.
- Staff (2014-01-17). "Vitaly Minakov vs. Cheick Kongo title fight slated for Bellator 115". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- Matt Erickson (2014-04-18). "Bellator 120 pay-per-view adds Ivanov-Volkov, Held-Freire, three more bouts". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-05-07.
- "Curran vs. Pitbull Headline September 5th Kickoff From Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena Live On Spike". bellator.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- "Bellator 123 Fight Card". Bellator.com. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- Chuck Mindenhall (April 21, 2015). "Cheick Kongo to clash with Alexander Volkov at Bellator 139". mmafighting.com.