Exclusive: Cheick Kongo Talks Title Run, Retirement Plans


Cheick Kongo might not be long for the MMA world.

Kongo was a mainstay in UFC's competitive heavyweight division for over seven years before moving to Bellator. Despite an impressive 6-2 record in the company, the 41-year old French fighter says that he knows time isn't on his side in the sport.

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"Not so much (more). This is probably my last couple of years in the business, and (then I'll) think of something else," Kongo told Fightful. "Right now, I have gas left in the tank, so you'll see me again and again. I'm still working on different stuff. I'm getting involved in recovery and rehabilitation. I'm still working on my concept. It's going to be great for people."

Kongo expanded on his post-fight plans, saying that his legendary war with Pat Barry helped motivate him. He told us that he injured both shoulders and a vertebrae, and was able to return well ahead of schedule. This ignited his passion to get involved in the world of sports rehab.

Even though he sees a light at the end of an MMA tunnel, Kongo told Fightful that he still wants a Bellator Heavyweight title run. The title is currently vacant after Vitaly Minakov was stripped of the Championship due to inactivity. Kongo, who came up short in a 2014 title fight against Minakov, said he wants the title sooner than later. 

"For sure. If it were up to me, we would be fighting for the title," Kongo said of his Bellator 161 fight against Tony Johnson.

Bellator 162 takes place September 16 from the HEB Center in Cedar Park, Texas.

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