Cheick Kongo was a towering Frenchman with lots of promise when he entered into the UFC oh so many years ago. But we followed that thread to its conclusion, and now he’s a big fish in the much smaller Bellator pond. Tonight, in Bellator 150’s main event, he shares those waters with Vinicius Queiroz, a.k.a., “Spartan”.
Spartan takes the center of the cage and backs Kongo up with nothing but presence and dirty looks, and they really do nothing for the first minute and a half. Only then do they engage, and that comes in the form of a brief clinch that Spartan eventually pushes out of. More punching the air ensues, and when Kongo ties up again it’s Spartan who scores with a brief trip. The round ends with the UFC vet trying to push his foe through the chain links fence like cheese through a grater.
Kongo goes back to his kickboxing roots in the second, chopping away with inside- and outside leg-kicks while keeping he jab in motion and his head on a swivel. Spartan, meanwhile, seems to be waiting for Kongo to commit so he can throw a counter – and when that doesn’t happen, Spartan shoots for a takedown and gets the UFC vet down. They’re stalemated in Kongo’s half-guard, and referee John McCarthy stands them up with only ten seconds left in the round.
It takes all of 30 seconds for Spartan to get another takedown in Round 3, and it takes all of a minute and a half for Kongo to make it back to his feet. They trade punches for a bit before Kongo presses him up against the fence, and after a reset, Spartan finally gets that opening he’s been hoping for in the form of a counter that catches the Frenchman square. Kongo sinks to his butt, and Spartan once more settles into his half-guard. Time runs out with them trading briefly but carefully.
Result: Cheick Kongo def. Vinicius Queiroz via Split Decision