Heavyweights Cheick Kongo and Javy Ayala Booked for Bellator 199

Cheick Kongo, Bellator MMA heavyweight
Cheick Kongo (right) faces Oli Thompson at Bellator 172 Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Another heavyweight clash has been added to Bellator 199 in the form of Cheick Kongo vs. Javy Ayala.

After roughly a year out of action, heavyweight notable Cheick Kongo is getting back in the Bellator MMA cage. As first reported by MMA Junkie, Kongo will face fellow heavyweight Javy Ayala at Bellator 199 in May. Both fighters were listed as Scott Coker as tournament alternates for the Bellator World Heavyweight Grand Prix earlier this year. However, at the time, Coker noted that the pair were not necessarily likely to face each other. Clearly, that plan has changed, though the promotion has not confirmed whether or not this fight is a tournament alternate.

In the case of Kongo, his exclusion from the heavyweight grand prix was blamed on his close relationship with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. The pair are long time training partners with Wolfslair. With ‘Rampage’ eliminated from the tournament by Chael Sonnen, it opens the door for Kongo’s potential inclusion. Kongo (27–10–2) is currently on a five fight winning streak, and has not lost since dropping a decision to King Mo back at Bellator 134 in 2015. Overall, Kongo is 9-2 in Bellator, which he joined after a lengthy run in the UFC.

Javy Ayala (10–6) became the man of the moment in Bellator’s heavyweight division after a surprise knockout of veteran striker Sergei Kharitonov. That punched Ayala’s ticket to a meeting with Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson, which Ayala would lose via unanimous decision. However, at 5-3 in the promotion and still under the age of 30, he remains a prospect among the big men.

Bellator 199 takes place May 12 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. In the main event, King Mo takes on light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in a non-title fight that serves as part of Bellator’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix.