Cheick Kongo still believes he should’ve gotten an immediate rematch against Ryan Bader.
At Bellator 226 in September of 2019, Kongo fought Bader for the heavyweight title and the fight ended in a No Contest due to an eye poke. Since then, Kongo has only competed once losing a split decision to Tim Johnson last October.
The 46-year-old Frenchman in Kongo will now return in the main event of Bellator 265 on August 20 against Sergei Kharitonov. For Kongo, he says he wanted to return much sooner but this is when Bellator offered him to fight.
“Yes, the plan was to fight way sooner but this is when the promotion offered me a fight,” Kongo said to BJPENN.com. “My wish was to be active after that last fight, especially losing that close decision but we will now fight on August 20.”
If Kongo gets his hand raised, he has made it known he wants to rematch Bader. He knows the result of the fight wasn’t clear so they should’ve had an immediate rematch anyway.
“I mean, I have some preference on who I want to fight and he is a very good opponent. He has been around the sport but for me, I wanted the rematch with Bader,” Kongo said. “When you have controversy in a title fight, it’s normally an immediate rematch, you don’t wait years to have the rematch. I know I’m 46 but I still have gas in the tank and I want that fight against Bader. I don’t understand why I have been pushed away from the rematch.”
For Cheick Kongo, it is now not only about fighting for the belt, but it is fighting Bader as he says since that fight, he doesn’t like Bader anymore. Not only does he think he deserves the rematch with a win, but if he doesn’t get it, he says he will fight Bader in the street if he sees him.
“The thing is, I don’t need another win after this to fight Bader. I shouldn’t have had to even fight one more time after that night because the ending was not clear,” Kongo explained. “If I lost clearly then I lost, but that didn’t happen, there is no clear result, Bellator needs to do the rematch. I need to get that fight back. We have to fight for the belt again. I’ll fight him in the street, I don’t care.”
In order to even get the rematch and the title fight, Cheick Kongo will need to beat Sergei Kharitonov on Friday.
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