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Cheick Kongo Steps Up to Face Cain Velasquez at UFC 99

(Kongo dodges Al-Turk’s ferocious breakdancing attack at UFC 92. Photo courtesy of

From a new update on

When Heath Herring was forced to withdraw from his UFC 99 bout against Cain Velasquez, the search immediately went out for a replacement. Well, the UFC didn’t have to look very far, as highly-regarded contender Cheick Kongo has stepped up to face the unbeaten Velasquez on the main card of the June 13th event in Cologne, Germany.
Kongo is currently riding a three fight winning streak that includes TKOs of Dan Evensen, Mostapha Al-Turk, and Antoni Hardonk. In Velasquez (5-0), he faces one of the division’s brightest young stars in what promises to be one of the most exciting fights on the stacked UFC 99 card, which is headlined by the bout between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva.

The way we see it, this couldn’t have worked out better. While Velasquez vs. Herring was set up to get Velasquez another notch on his belt against a bigger name, Velasquez vs. Kongo is a legitimate heavyweight contender match. Both guys are streaking, having won their last three UFC fights by early TKO, and the winner will end up one or two fights away from a title shot.

I have a feeling that things are about to get really interesting in the UFC’s heavyweight division. The hot prospects are no longer being protected (see also: Carwin vs. Gonzaga), and it’s finally time for them to fight each other and establish a hierarchy. Will Carwin take on someone like Junior Dos Santos next? Will Mirko Cro Cop get to fight the winner of Velasquez/Kongo? Who deserves the next crack at the belt after Lesnar and Mir settle their score at UFC 100?

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Jay Smith- May 21, 2009 at 8:07 am
Kongo won't lose, and is on the fast track to a HW title shot. He's been working on his ground game, and is also one of the best strikers in that division. His cardio is also in the top 2 or 3 in that division. Everyone is sleeping on him because of his loss to Herring. He's a different fighter now.
ColinL- May 21, 2009 at 4:32 am
LOL@ fearful nutsack

I see this one as Congo having the edge in striking. Cain is well-rounded, sure, but if Congo does manage to get a takedown and hold top position, Cain is in big trouble.

Wrestlers are really great on top and avoiding the takedown to begin with. But you don't want Congo on you.

Mind you, I'm not NEARLY counting Cain out. If he wins this, he's srsbzns.
Poo Flinger- May 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm
Seems like a fight to me. I like both fighters, but I think that Cain will win as he is a little more versatile.
LOCKCAPSHAL- May 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm
if kongo can avoid the submissions he will def win this one
One Two- May 20, 2009 at 10:06 am
herring beat kongo this is a weak replacement, congo'll get taken down and dominated hes like a fish outta water on the ground.
merv- May 20, 2009 at 9:59 am
sweet, i hope Cain beats him he seems like a humble guy with a ton of potential. I like this matchup better than Herring.
Slag- May 20, 2009 at 8:36 am
I fear for Cain's nutsack.
4inch4skin- May 20, 2009 at 8:32 am
This card just got a whole lot floppier
Swedish- May 20, 2009 at 8:17 am
dude... I love when the UFC takes a bad situation and turns it into a positive. Another great match up that actually means something in the HW division.

Note: This is 100 more interesting vs. the Arlovski announcement.
BuckWild- May 20, 2009 at 7:56 am
@ Wrldchmpnabrvtr.. wut the !

This care is getting better and better! oops it must be the flu symptom ! (card)
mayhem- May 20, 2009 at 7:55 am
This card just got a whole let more interesting.
Will be a good test for Cain to see if he can hang with a good striker, it will also tells us if Kongo is more than just a glorified gatekeeper.
Wrldchmpnabrvtr- May 20, 2009 at 7:49 am
I'm still getting the feeling Cro Cop vs. Al Turk won't initially be on the main card.

If Fisher vs. Uno gets dropped it would be sad, and the welterweight bouts are fairly important ones.

Lettuce just pray that Cro Cop Cro Cops Turk early and they slide it in between Velasquez melting Kongo and whatever the fuck is gonna happen between Silva and Franklin.
Canadian Chronic- May 20, 2009 at 7:47 am
gonna be a great fight! dont know who I want to win, whoever has the best chance of beating the fuck outta Lesnar. I dont think Cheicks' groung game is up to what Lesnar will put him through. Tough pick
Nut Puncher 9000- May 20, 2009 at 7:38 am
not a bad last minute adjustment. At least this way they dont risk CroCop.