Bellator has added several UFC vets to its roster in recent months, and this week it announced that heavyweight Cheick Kongo is the latest fighter who’s joining the promotion. Unlike previous additions like Tito Ortiz and “Rampage” Jackson, however, the powerful heavyweight isn’t letting the criticisms pour forth at its former employer. Now that doesn’t mean, however, that Kongo hasn’t had some interesting things to say about his lengthy run in the UFC.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie.com, here is some of what the 38 year-old Kongo had to say about his time with ZUFFA, and his decision to sign with Bellator.
“For me, it’s just about competition,” Kongo said. “Right now I have the opportunity to compete like I used to do. I used to have to learn how be an entertainer, because in the UFC, if you’re not an entertainer, you don’t get the right deal. I came to the UFC as a fighter, but now I understand the business.”
“I have no regrets,” said Kongo. “I spent a really good time in the UFC. I respect the UFC for giving me the opportunity. No regrets, and also the door is not closed. It’s a new step for me to improve myself. It was made to make myself stronger and to try and reach a new goal.”
“I got the possibility to fight for the belt,” Kongo said. “That’s the reason I’m here now.”
Kongo also relayed that he was in fact offered a contract by the UFC, but the French fighter said it was “not an offer I liked.” Kongo became a free agent after he was stopped by Roy Nelson at UFC 159, which ended a six year run in the promotion. Bellator hasn’t announced yet who Kongo will fight in the opening round of its next heavyweight tourney, but there’s little doubt having him compete in it will add more viewers.
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