Posted on: March 21, 2010 9:38 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2010 10:01 pm
After a fairly lengthy delay for commercials and a few words with Shane Carwin to promote the PPV, we're ready for the next bout. Cheick Kongo vs. Paul Buentello in a heavyweight clash, as Kongo needs to erase the stench of his loss to Frank Mir in December.
Round 1: Buentello very peppy to start, moving around a lot. Buentello unloads with a flurry and maybe connects with one shot before Kongo forces his back to the cage and completes a takedown. Buentello is fighting his way back to an upright position. Kongo takes him down again. Kongo may have taken Buentello's early fidgeting as an indication that Buentello wanted to swing for the fences early, and took him down to control the pace a bit. Kongo's generally not this type of fighter.
Not much happening aside from Kongo throwing minor strikes and holding Buentello down. Buentello's up. Kongo tries to take him down again and Buentello throws an uppercut at him, apparently injuring his pinky finger. There's a brief stoppage while the referee and a doctor try to assess the issue, but at one point Buentello is ready to fight again. It appears he popped his pinky back into place.
Kongo's more active now, throwing fists up the middle. Buentello answers with a pair of missed punches and Kongo takes him down again. Kongo with fists to the ribs. Referee Herb Dean stands them up with 15 seconds left in the round. Buentello misses a big right hand and falls down. Kongo lands a punch before the buzzer. 10-9 Kongo.
Round 2: Kongo goes back to the takedowns. He unloads with fists as Buentello's back is to the cage and Buentello answers with his own punches, for an entertaining exchange. Kongo completes the takedown and hammers away at the body. Buentello starts to get up and Kongo lands two knees -- one to the body (legal), one to the face (100 percent illegal).
Dean separates them as the crowd boos again. Buentello is informed by Dean that he needs to make a decision if he can fight (no five minutes to recover), and he says yes. Dean deducts one point from Kongo for the illegal knee to a downed opponent's face.
Kongo goes right back to the takedown and completes it. He throws more punishing knees to the body. Buentello tries to get up. Kongo starts throwing short punches to the head. Buentello rises to his feet and Kongo holds him in a front facelock, throwing knees to his head. Kongo with another errant knee to the face, but Dean correctly notices that Buentello dropped his knee when he saw the shot coming and tells Buentello he was "playing the game," so it's not Kongo's fault. Excellent refereeing.
Kongo with another takedown, but theye get stood up again. Kongo lands a right to the jaw, Buentello lands an uppercut, and the round's over. 9-9 draw by my score (I'd have called it 10-9 Kongo, but Dean deducted a point from Kongo, so it's a 9-9 draw).
Round 3: Kongo goes right back to the takedown and throws elbows to Buentello's ribs and thighs. Buentello eventually taps out. Weird finish, but Buentello apparently felt as though he'd had enough punishment.
Winner: Cheick Kongo defeats Paul Buentello via submission due to strikes at 1:16 of Round 3.
Posted on: December 12, 2009 11:38 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2009 11:50 pm
Moving right along to the semi-main event, as Frank Mir tries to bounce back from his loss to Brock Lesnar by taking on Cheick Kongo.
Kongo stood with his back to Mir at the weigh-ins, refusing to do the traditional photo-op staredown. Kongo thinks Mir doesn't respect him and talks too much trash, which indeed seems to be the case. Mir also weighed in very close to the 265-pound limit, having added lots of muscle since the Lesnar loss.
Round 1: They don't touch gloves. This is personal for Kongo. Kongo rifles Mir in the jaw with a straight right. Mir catches Kongo with a big left that drops him. Mir tries to follow him down with strikes, but Kongo grabs a leg and tries to stand. Mir slaps on a guillotine choke. Kongo fights it for a while, but has to tap out. That was fast. Kongo is actually out cold, but he did manage to tap out right before he passed out.
Correction: On the replay from a different camera angle, we see that Kongo didn't tap. The tapping motion his arm made was caused by referee Herb Dean grabbing his wrist and shaking it to confirm that he was unconscious.
Winner: Frank Mir defeats Cheick Kongo via submission to a guillotine choke at 1:12 of Round 1.
Posted on: June 13, 2009 4:45 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2009 5:22 pm
Cain Velasquez faces the biggest test of his young career -- and a fight that could propel him into much bigger things, if he wins -- as he fights Cheick Kongo.
Velasquez's American Kickboxing Academy teammate Mike Swick is back out to help work his corner, shortly after winning his own fight.
Round 1: Velasquez closes the distance quickly and Kongo lands a few left jabs. Kongo rocks Velasquez with a right hand that drops him to a knee momentarily, then Velasquez takes Kongo down. Kongo trying to get up but Velasquez is keeping him down. Velasquez mounts him. Kongo rolls, and Velasquez takes his back for a rear naked choke. Kongo rolls out and gets to his feet. Velasquez tosses him back to the mat. Velasquez mounts him again. Fists to the face by Velasquez. Kongo on his knees with Velasquez hammering him with fists. Velasquez is just dominating the positioning here, exposing Kongo's wrestling weakness. Kongo's up -- Kongo's down again, and Cain lands in side control. Kongo gets to his knees and Velasquez uses a crossface neck crank to make him regret it. Kongo gets to his feet and lands a knee to the body as the round ends. 10-9 Velasquez.
Round 2: They exchange fists with Velasquez landing a few good shots, but once again, Kongo clips him on the chin with a right and Velasquez drops to a knee. Velasquez with a takedown attempt and eventually gets Kongo down. Velasquez with a series of right hands to the jaw and then a knee to the ribs. Kongo's just on his knees eating whatever strikes Velasquez can work in, because he's helpless against Velasquez's wrestling technique, and at this point, Kongo is also physically worn out from the energy needed to grapple for close to 10 minutes. Kongo's holding Velasquez's wrist, so Cain throws more knees to the ribs. The round ends with Velasquez doing this. 10-9 Velasquez, but you get the idea that one strike could end this for Kongo, if he can sneak it in before getting taken down.
Round 3: Kongo with a fist and then a takedown attempt. Kongo actually gets the takedown for a brief second, but Velasquez is so good that it's only a few seconds before Kongo's on his knees again, eating strikes. Velasquez is hammering away with fists from all angles. Kongo finally gets up and lands some knees from the clinch. Kongo with a right hand and rocks Velasquez one more time, and tries very hard to avoid the takedown that follows, but can't. Velasquez has Kongo in full mount. He's striking from the top. Kongo punching up from the bottom. Velasquez finishes the rounc with a flurry of shots from the top. 10-9 Velasquez again, so it should be a 30-27 win for the newcomer.
Winner: Cain Velasquez defeats Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds.
"It wasn't good enough for me, I know it wasn't good enough for my coaches," Velasquez said about his performance.
Kongo ate an unreal number of unanswered punches but never appeared on the verge of getting knocked out. That either says a lot about his skull, or reveals that Velasquez's punches aren't as heavy as once thought. Perhaps both. Either way, you have to wonder what a guy like Brock Lesnar -- who can match Velasquez's wrestling -- would have done if he'd landed the same right hands to Velasquez's chin that Kongo did. I'm sure we'll see that fight someday.
Posted on: May 22, 2009 10:58 pm
Edited on: May 22, 2009 11:09 pm
There are times when a UFC fight gets a whole lot more interesting due to a late change of opponents. Over the course of the past three days, that has happened twice.
In the most time-sensitive switch, Chris Wilson was scratched from Saturday's UFC 98 card with barely two days' notice, after the Nevada State Athletic Commission could not get Wilson's doctor on the phone to provide necessary medical information. The NSAC reportedly left numerous messages for the doctor and simply never got a call back. As a result, the commission was left with no choice but to pull Wilson from the show.
Wilson's replacement against Brock Larson will be Mike "Quicksand" Pyle (17-5-1), an Xtreme Couture fighter making his UFC debut after lots of experience elsewhere, including EliteXC, Affliction, Strikeforce, WEC and the IFL. Pyle has won his last four fights (all via submission), and six of his past seven bouts. Pyle's only loss during that stretch was to Jake Shields in Nov. 2007.
Earlier this week, another late switch resulted in an intriguing heavyweight battle that just might put the winner on the radar for a possible title shot vs. Brock Lesnar (or Frank Mir , pending the outcome of that title fight at July's UFC 100).
"The Texas Crazy Horse" Heath Herring pulled out of his UFC 99 bout vs. up-and-comer Cain Velasquez on June 13 in Germany, citing either illness (as reported by MMA FanHouse) or injury (as reported by the UFC) as the cause. Either way, his replacement is a solid test for the former collegiate wrestling standout, as Velasquez will now battle Cheick Kongo .
Kongo (14-4-1, 7-2-0 UFC) has won five of his last six fights, with the only loss in that time frame coming at the hands of Herring in March of 2008. Since then, Kongo has made quick work of Dan Evensen , Mustapha Al-Turk and Antoni Hardonk .
Velasquez (5-0-0, 3-0-0 UFC) won his first four fights via knockout in the first round, and his most recent bout -- vs. Denis Stojnic at February's UFC Fight Night 17 -- via TKO at 2:34 of Round 2.
A standout wrestler at Arizona State, Velsaquez has the athleticism, punching power and solid wrestling base that has many observers calling him the future of the UFC heavyweight division, and a potential rival to Lesnar in years to come.
Posted on: March 1, 2008 11:24 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2008 11:59 pm
They're getting ready for Heath Herring vs. Cheick Kongo. From the prefight interviews:
Herring: "I feel pretty confident for this fight."
Kongo: "I don't care."
Round 1: Herring puts Kongo down with a punch within the first 10 seconds but Kongo is back to his feet so fast it might have been more of a slip than anything. Kongo with a takedown. Herring rolls through to take top control. Herring has Kongo against the cage on the ground. Kongo fights back to his feet and has Herring back against the cage, with Herring holding him in a front facelock. Kongo is doing his famous knees to the inner thigh that missed their target in the Cro Cop fight. They are grappling for position with Kongo reversing and briefly getting back control on the mat, but he stepped away from it. The crowd is booing with 20 seconds left in the round, but honestly, it's been a very good and active fight so far, especially for a heavyweight bout. Very hard round to call, but I'll give it to Herring 10-9.
Round 2: Kongo controls Herring again on the ground and then decides to let Herring up... kind of. He wants Herring to stand, but he won't back off enough to allow it. The ref finally stands them (Herring) up. Herring rushes in with strikes and quickly winds up grappling on the cage again. It goes back to the ground with Kongo controlling first, then Herring reversing for side control. Herring with a series of big knees to the side. Kongo is looking at the clock and taking knee after knee without trying to improve position. The round ends, and that one is Herring 10-9.
Round 3: Both guys land big shots to start and Herring applies a guillotine. Kongo slips out. Kongo gets Herrings back but Herring escapes and shoves him off. They wind up against the cage again and Herring gets side control. Herring starts punishing with knees to the ribs again and twice rears back with the knee closest to Kongo's head, and thinks better of it and stops himself. Kongo gets in this position and just holds on and takes every shot. Full mount for Herring and he hammers away at Kongo's head as the round ends. Herring 10-9. Even though I've given all three rounds to Herring, I could see either of the first two rounds being scored for Kongo, so it's not like Herring ran away with it or anything, but I do think he deserves the decision. We'll see.
Winner: Heath Herring defeated Cheick Kongo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) after three rounds.
This is a huge win for Herring. He looked a lot better than in recent fights, going the distance without gassing and seemingly much more motivated. Herring mentioned after the fight how unexpected it was that Kongo didn't opt to strike more.