A back injury suffered in his March win over Paul Buentello will likely prevent heavyweight Cheick Kongo from facing The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Roy Nelson at UFC 116 on July 3 in Las Vegas, though the matchup, which was first reported on Saturday, could still take place later this year.
“I have to be able to start my preparation – the thing I haven’t done yet. I am still injured [from the Buentello fight],” Kongo today told Riddum. “I don’t think it would happen at UFC 116. Maybe later but not then. I didn’t get any word from the UFC [on this matchup] and as of today I’m just actively recovering and nothing else.”
Kongo (15-6-1), who recently signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC, rebounded from back-to-back losses to Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez with a third-round TKO of Buentello at the UFC’s Versus debut last month, while Nelson (15-4) earned “Knockout of the Night” honors for his first-round TKO of Stefan Struve at UFC Fight Night 21 in March.
UFC 116 is headlined by the anticipated return of heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar vs. interim title-holder Shane Carwin, and is expected to be co-headlined by Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Pictured: Cheick Kongo