On September 5th, 2014 Bellator MMA returns to action for their 11th season with Bellator 123 live at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

While the event is headlined by one of top budding rivalries in all of MMA, Pat Curran vs Patricio Freire, the fight everyone should be talking about is the heavyweight clash between banger Lavar Johnson and elite kickboxer Cheick Kongo.

“I’m really happy about the upcoming fight on September 5th,” Kongo told The MMA Corner. “For sure my opponent will be really good, so it will be a good deal.”

Kongo has been competing in the sport for a long time now, 14 years to be exact, but while he has been close to the top of the heap for much of his career, a major title has always eluded him. Kongo’s motivation to compete isn’t about titles, it’s about testing himself in competition.

“People will think, ‘Ok Cheick left the UFC cause he was just tired, he’s just trying to find an easy way to be active or be a champion or whatever’,” Kongo said. “But the thing is, at the end no matter what, I just want to keep going, to see where I am. I have enough energy to keep competing and keep showing what I got. I’m not done, I have a few years left to keep going so that’s what I’m doing.”

Of course that’s not to say that winning a title isn’t important to him, because it is. But at 39, Kongo has nothing left to prove to the fans; his main concern now is just winning fights and entertaining fans.

“In the fight, I have nothing to prove,” Kongo said. “The game is to win no matter what. I’m there to win and that’s what I have to do, also I will do my best to get this victory. I don’t have to prove anything because everyone knows who I am. What I have to prove to myself is just to make an exciting fight.”

Kongo is an extremely skilled technical striker and well rounded fighter, but Johnson is a killer with elite power; 16 of his 18 career victories have come by way of knockout. That said, Kongo has more than enough tools to compete.

“I mix in everything,” Kongo said. “So if he tries to wrestle I have to wrestle too. I have to find the way to win. If he want to throw punches, I will throw punches, if he want wrestle, I will wrestle.”

By letting the fight come to him Kongo’s skill and vast experience will prove to be the deciding factor. As long as Johnson doesn’t catch him with one of those massive meat hooks, Kongo should cruise to a decisive victory.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.