Bellator 208: Cheick Kongo Knows He Deserves Title Shot

Victorious Bellator 208 heavyweight Cheick Kongo has just one thing on his mind after beating Tim Johnson: his belt.

Uniondale, NY — Cheick Kongo put on another dominant performance at Bellator 208 on Saturday night in Long Island. Taking on fellow former UFC heavyweight Tim Johnson, Kongo was facing a fighter coming off a win in his old promotion, one motivated to earn a big win in his debut. Ultimately it was Kongo connecting with a knockout blow just over a minute into the first round. That marked the seventh straight win for the French fighter.

That’s an impressive stretch for any heavyweight, and includes the likes of Oli Thompson and current UFC contender Alexander Volkov. Kongo (29-10-2) addressed the media after his second straight knockout finish, saying that “he used to be really lazy,” and crediting his camp and training partners for “keeping me active, keeping me efficient, helping me to recover faster than usual.” He also didn’t see anything he didn’t expect from Johnson. “Nothing. Honestly I didn’t expect anything. I just expected some big brawl during the bout.”

Yet another win, and another finish, “that’s a good position to be in for me,” Kongo said following the fight. “To come back and get my belt. No matter what, who is going to be the winner, Bellator [has held] my belt now three years, four years. At some point it’s something I deserve to get. You know I didn’t get the opportunity to fight as well for the interim [title].”

“We’ll see,” Kongo said when asked if he was willing to fight again before being booked into a title fight.

“If I didn’t for the belt, it would be a big shame. Still to me, it’s a big shame,” he added later. “Three years, seven wins in a row. A win is a win. That’s what I learned from you guys,” Kongo said, referring to the media.

Yet Kongo isn’t about to beg, not about to go into the cage and scream “I want to get my f*cking belt,” as others would tend to these days. Even though Kongo very much feels the belt is his. He also remains open to facing Vitaly Minakov, noting that their first meeting was very close. “It would be a good opportunity,” he said.

The full Bellator 208 post-fight press conference with Chieck Kongo is available above.