In the lone heavyweight fight on the main card of UFC 159, Cheick Kongo takes on Roy Nelson in the third of five televised fights.
Kongo has a lot more to lose in this fight. The Frenchman, who has 17 career UFC fights, is on the last fight of his UFC contract. Kongo is also 37 years old, so this is likely his last shot to make any type of title run in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
One would expect a fighter like Kongo to have extra motivation while fighting with his career on the line. Kongo, however, is not concerned and sounded overconfident in a recent interview with Karyn Bryant of MMA Heat.
“I’m so confident,” Kongo said. “I’m secure and safe, plus I know what I have to do [to win].”
As for his game plan, Kongo envisions himself trading bombs with Nelson. “I am going to respond to fire. He opens the fire, I’ll pull the trigger and let’s go exchange. That’s the game [plan],” Kongo said.
Committing to wild exchanges with Nelson is the worst game plan Kongo could have. Despite facing knockout artists, such as Junior Dos Santos and Mirko Filipovic, Nelson has never been stopped by strikes in his eight-fight UFC career. Nelson’s chin will surely hold up to anything Kongo throws his way.
Kongo’s chin, on the other hand, has shown vulnerability to powerful strikers, as it did in his recent loss to Mark Hunt early in the first round.
With Kongo’s overconfidence and suspect chin, Nelson’s big right hand should put an end to this fight by the middle of the second round marking an end to Kongo’s seven-year UFC career.