Cheick Kongo expects to finish Tim Johnson again, says Ryan Bader getting KO’d was “karma” for eye pokes in their fight

By Cole Shelton - October 7, 2020

Cheick Kongo thought he would be having an immediate rematch with Ryan Bader.

Cheick Kongo, Bellator MMA

Kongo and Bader fought at Bellator 226 for the heavyweight title. It was a very intriguing matchup but the fight ended due to eye pokes from Bader and was ruled a no-contest. Yet, Bader claimed he never poked Kongo in the eye. For the Frenchman, he knows that was inaccurate and actually revealed he and Bader agreed to rematch in June before the pandemic hit.

“I was supposed to rematch Bader in June,” Kongo said to “It was then postponed because of the pandemic and he ended up going back to 205. I’m pretty sure a win here gets me a rematch.”

With Bader then getting fighting and getting knocked out at light heavyweight, Kongo knew he needed to get another fight. So, Bellator offered him the chance to fight in his home country of France. Yet, he would be rematching Tim Johnson, someone he knocked out in just 68 seconds.

Although the first fight ended quickly, Johnson called it a fluke but Kongo expects the fight to end the same way.

“Obviously, I wanted Bader. After he got knocked out in his last fight I was offered Tim Johnson. I just said let’s do this,” he said. “He will come with a new strategy and I have to be aware. The first fight ended quickly and this fight will end the same. He will add some stuff to his game plan but this will be the same result. I will get my hand raised again and finish him again. I have to win”

If Cheick Kongo does just that, he will get the rematch with Ryan Bader and the Frenchman says he was glad to see Bader get KO’d by Vadim Nemkov.

“It was great because he thought nobody could touch him,” Kongo concluded. “He poked me in the eyes and it was karma for doing that. I have nothing else to add on to that.”

Do you think Cheick Kongo will beat Tim Johnson again?