Cheick Kongo: Three fights and I can be champ

It feels different, Kongo told I have complete confidence in what Im going to bring to this new promotion. Its a really good chance for me to show what Ive got. Three fights and I can be the champion. Thats what pushes me.

Its obvious that Kongo (18-8-2) has no desire to publicly criticize the UFCs treatment of him. Several former UFC fighters have done so in 2013, including Quinton Jackson and Tito Ortiz, both of whom also signed with Bellator.

Any divorce of a seven-year marriage, however, is likely to include some share of resentment. In Kongos case, its based around that UFC title shot that eluded him.

I dont want to look like someone who is (complaining), Kongo said. Of course, I wasnt happy because I didnt get the shot. I deserved to fight for the belt. It was always just keep fighting, keep fighting, keep fighting. I wasnt really pushed or promoted as a challenger.
I was injured when I fought Cain Velasquez, Kongo said. The UFC knew it but you know, everybody was excited about the fight. Nobody was asking me, Whats going on? What happened? Im not the guy to go scream, Hey, this happened.

I took the fight and I lost. Thats it -- end of story. These guys come to you and say, Yeah, come on. Youre supposed to be a fighter. Take the fight. You never know what to do because people go crazy. But I dont want to blame somebody. In the end, I was the last one to make that decision.

There were other instances, too. Kongo revealed he fought with a dislocated shoulder after a lackluster performance against Shawn Jordan and he says his left hand was broken heading into his most recent fight, a knockout loss to Roy Nelson.

All that is water under the bridge, though. One thing Kongo hasnt lost through the ups and downs is his confidence -- and its unwavering heading into his Bellator debut.

Hes been pegged a 5-to-1 favorite over Godbeer in the heavyweight tournament semifinal. Hes promised everyone will see why when the fight starts.

I think at this time, I dont have anything to prove except to myself to be the best, Kongo said. And I am the best. Thats what Im going to prove in this tournament. Its not even about proving, its about showing. I have to show them.