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That Settles It: Cheick Kongo Is the Dirtiest Fighter in the UFC

(One of the few moments on Saturday when Travis Browne wasn’t in danger of getting his nuts demolished. Photo courtesy of

Though many UFC fighters have gotten bad reputations for everything from eye-poking to greasing, nobody’s as consistently rotten as heavyweight Cheick Kongo, who put on another notorious performance against Travis Browne at UFC 120. Kongo started things off in the second round by launching his trademark strike — a knee to the balls, straight up the middle — and wound up costing himself the victory in the third frame when he continued to grab Browne’s shorts despite warnings from the ref; the resulting point-deduction led to a unanimous 28-28 judges’ decision. At this point, it’s pretty much indisputable that Kongo is the dirtiest fighter currently on the UFC roster. Who could forget his other career highlights…

vs. Paul Buentello at UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones: After being warned by Herb Dean for shots to the back of the head and 12-to-6 elbows in the second round, Kongo is finally deducted a point for kneeing Buentello in the head while Buentello was down. Later in the round, Kongo connects with another knee to his downed opponent’s dome, though Dean brushes it off, saying Buentello was trying to draw the foul. 

vs. Mostapha Al Turk at UFC 92:
 Al Turk catches Kongo in the junk with a knee. Kongo takes a minute to collect himself, then clinches with Al Turk and returns the favor, very much intentionally.

vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at UFC 75: The fight that launched "Cup Check Kongo"’s dirty-fighter legend. Kongo lands four separate knees to Cro Cop’s balls, and manages to avoid any point-deductions. In a post-fight interview with Fighters Only, Kongo said "The last knee in the balls wasn’t an accident because he was complaining about different knees in his balls but they were inside his legs. And that upset me.”

Kongo hasn’t earned the distinction of having two points deducted in the same fight, and he doesn’t include himself in the 50% of MMA fighters who use steroids, but when it comes to lifetime body of work, Kongo is chasing Gilbert Yvel for the title of Dirtiest Fighter Ever. 

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fatbellyfrank- October 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm
Funniest part ot the whole commentary was when Rogan (i think) was trying to talk up Kongo's win over Buentello as some sort of classic match up, fuck me, what either of those guys are doing in a UFC cage is beyond me
Rarghface- October 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm
I was hoping Kongo would have been DQed and Browne just given his money. I mean, its one thing to be a cheat, its another thing to be a cheat and as terrible fighter as Cheick Kongo is. Christ, he can't even be controversial and win, he's just controversial and loses. It's like if you watched Dudley Do-right and Snidely Whiplash gets arrested during the intro and...oh hey thats it, cartoons over.
Komodo- October 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm
Never understood the appeal of Kongo. There's always some shitty buzz surrounding the guy.
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- October 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm
herb dean is a bitch, knee to the head is a knee to the head. Buentello was just working the system.
fingerssfv- October 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm
I was hoping that I wasn't the only one who reached the same conclusion. Kongo has always had that signature Nut crack by knee. Almost every time he fights, when given the chance, he will knee his opponent in the groin. Turk Mostapha? Remember him (hope I spelled it right)? He accidentally cracked Kongo in the nuts, so Kongo cracked him back (twice). One for good measure, I suppose. This last fight against Travis Browne was too much. He had Browne against the cage, with his head (eyes) facing downward, in the direction of Browne's nuts, then with full extent, he kneed Browne, going as far up there as possible. How much more blatant can one be? This guy needs to be -- not suspended -- but have money from the fight taken from him and given to his opponent. Every time he fights, when he strikes those nuts, the UFC needs to give half his purse to his opponent, with another quarter of it going to Charity. It really doesn't matter what the amount is, just as long as it is done.

The grabbing of the shorts, pulling down his opponents? He does that as well. How can you grab your opponent's shorts, and use that maneuver to take down your opponent? Ask Cheick. Sh*t, he does that enough to know how it's done.

The only ones I've noticed he has not done that crap to has been the ones who's kicked his butt. Those should be the ones he needs an edge with more than the no-named opponents, who happen to fair well against him (Browne, Mostapha, etc). I suppose he wouldn't dare knee someone like Mir or Velasquez.
MF Joel- October 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm
Not that anyone's going to care, but I called this when Rogan was going 'They're both strikers, this is going to be a standup war.'

No. Wrong. Kongo is a striker until he feels a tiny bit threatened, then he goes for a shitty takedown that turns into a pin against the cage, then he knees you in the balls. They need to institute some kind of lifetime tally of fouls that counts against you, rather than hitting the reset button every fight, because this shit is just not on.
Fried Taco- October 18, 2010 at 11:51 am
Geometry taught me the shortest distance between a knee and some balls is a straight line.
WalksInTheDarkness- October 18, 2010 at 11:43 am

You're right on both accounts. Referees get a lot of stick on forums and in the media and sometimes it's good to show them some appreciation when they do a good job.

Goddard appeared to be in control the entire fight, even telling Browne that he was watching the fight and that he'd be the one to call out any illegal maneuvers. Also, he lived up to his promise of deducting a point from Kongo. On the other hand, I'm curious to know what the ruling is when it comes to repeat offenders. Goddard deducted a point for Kongo holding Browne's shorts but Kongo continued to do it throughout the fight. Does the referee have to give another warning before he deducts a further point or can he DQ the fighter for repetitive rule infringement?
Rarghface- October 18, 2010 at 10:33 am
Should just change his name to Cheat Kongo. Why the hell is this terrible ass clown still in the UFC? Nobody pays to see Cheek Kongo fight, that's like paying to see Steve Mazzagati screw up his job.
Turd Furgeson- October 18, 2010 at 10:30 am
HA! Now you guys can leave my boy Palhares alone! Well, about bein dirty anyway; he's still plenty retarded for that crap against Marquardt.


I took geometry as a freshman.
RwilsonR- October 18, 2010 at 10:26 am
@ glassjawsh - in defense of this article, they might have meant to judge 'dirtiest in the UFC' only by offenses commited within the UFC.
Joedirt- October 18, 2010 at 10:10 am
Kongo sucks. Why does the UFC still have him? His fights are boring. He has 5 stoppages out of 13 fights in the UFC. His last 4 fights are 1 win, 2 losses and 1 draw.
Dana.... cut him.
Yazloz18- October 18, 2010 at 10:10 am
I don't hate Kongo but look at his record. Aside from Cro Cop he loses to nearly every legit HW he fights. Cain, Mir, Herring, Yvel. Is is coincidence aside from Antoni Hardonk, who may have been cut and I just dont know it, all of his UFC wins are against guys who are no longer fighting for the UFC?
Flying_Taint_Punch- October 18, 2010 at 9:58 am
@ Ballkick is that where the SN comes from?
Ballkick- October 18, 2010 at 9:32 am
There really needs to be a more consistant penalty for Junk Shots, 1st offence a warning, and a point is taken for the next offence. The next time it happens in the same fight,...DQ.
I took three hard knees to my groin in one night and from my belly-button down to my mid-thighs were completely black and blue.......It even hurt to piss.....that shit's gotta stop.
BONGTAR- October 18, 2010 at 9:17 am
That white boy got robbed. Congo lost. I hate judges/the current judging system.
cecils_pupils- October 18, 2010 at 9:11 am
"Cup" Cheick Kongo says: je ne comprends pas dirty fighter

glassjawsh- October 18, 2010 at 8:55 am
all im saying is that it is probably impossible to be the dirtiest fighter in a certain organization when that same organization also houses the dirtiest fighter ever.

I'm pretty sure i learned that in geometry in the 11th grade
glassjawsh- October 18, 2010 at 8:48 am
Junk Puncher- October 18, 2010 at 8:41 am
If I remember correctly, it was the 2nd knee to the balls from Al Turk, that had Kongo repaying the favor.

Kongo has a long way to go to reach Yvel status.
RwilsonR- October 18, 2010 at 8:38 am
I really liked that ref in the Kongo fight. They need to bring that dude over to ref some American fights. He seemed like he was in control and sure of his decisions the whole time, and when he gave a warning and said he would deduct a point if it continued, he actually followed through. I also thought he had a good eye on when to break them up and when not to.

We shit on refs all the time, so I just wanted to point out that I thought he did a good job.
bpd- October 18, 2010 at 8:24 am
He could surpass Yvel and get a 10 fight deal from Dana if he headkicks Mazzagatti next time out.
ReX13- October 18, 2010 at 8:19 am
The Al Turk - Kongo exchange still stands in my mind as hilarious. That's probably a horrible thing to say, but there you have it. Kongo's facial expression after serving Mostapha a Hertz Donut was priceless.
Kimbos Bread- October 18, 2010 at 8:14 am
I was surprised it ended as a draw. I thought Browne clearly won that, and Kongo had a point deduction as well...
Almost North- October 18, 2010 at 8:13 am
Get this clown the fuck out of the UFC.