Bellator heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo is looking to earn more than the heavyweight title in his upcoming rematch against Ryan Bader.
Kongo has proved that age may be just a number during his recent run-in Bellator. The 46-year-old has won 9 of his last 11 fights, including most recently against Sergei Kharitonov at Bellator 265.
Just minutes after Bader earned a unanimous decision victory against Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 273, the promotion announced that Bader will defend his belt against Kongo in May at an event in Paris.
The Bader-Kongo rivalry is one of the most heated in recent Bellator history. The two top heavyweights fought to a no-contest after an accidental eye-poke by Bader stopped the fight. Bader later denied that he poked Kongo.
Kongo is looking to earn a decisive win this time against Bader. During a recent interview with Mirror, he revealed what he told Bader during their staredown following Bellator 273.
“I told him ‘karma is a b****’ and you did really good,” Kongo said. “I was impressed with his performance, it was a really good satisfaction. I wish he will be able to perform the same way [against me] but I’m going to kill you. When he left the cage, I told him ‘you better be ready, because I’m gonna murder you’. I wasn’t expecting to face him after three years, I thought it was just a utopia but they make it real. Now it’s happening. His salvation will probably for me to die with Covid or get hit by a car to not face me.”
Kongo will have the opportunity to exact his revenge against Bader in front of the hometown crowd in Paris. He has his own gym and team in France called “Kongo’s Smashin’ Club”, which features top prospects such as Djati Melan.
Kongo’s murder comments remind some fans of UFC middleweight contender Sean Strickland, who has previously spoken about his desire to kill someone in the cage.
The Kongo-Bader rivalry doesn’t show any signs of cooling down anytime soon, and their fight is expected to be one of the most highly-anticipated in Bellator in 2022.
What is your prediction for Ryan Bader vs. Cheick Kongo 2?