(Dave Mandel/Sherdog)In The Land Of Giants: Is Cheick Kongo Still A Relevant Fighter? Jeremiah York July 17, 2015 News, Spotlight At the age of 40, Cheick Kongo is still one of the most well know and feared heavyweights in MMA. Kongo started his career in MMA in June of 2001, and has a record of (23-10-2) with a total of 12 TKO/KOs. He had a very successful career in the UFC and most recently in Bellator. Kongo has never lost more than two fights in a row and has always been able to hang with the top heavyweights in the world. What we have to wonder is at what age do you hang up the gloves? We have seen some people older than Kongo still have success in the cage (Randy Couture, Mark Hunt and Dan Henderson), but when you are in a division that has some of the biggest men on the planet, you have to consider all the damage your body has taken in 14 years of combat. Kongo had a great career in the UFC and left of his own accord when his contract was up, even after being offered another four fight contract by the UFC, Kongo decided to try his skills out with the competition at Bellato. Since joining Bellator, Kongo has gone 5-2 with his most recent win over former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov on June 26, 2015, at Bellatore 139, where he controlled and dominated the former champ in all rounds to come out with a unanimous decision win. Even at an age where some lose their edge, you can still see that when Kongo fights, he still has the drive to be a relevant fighter in the most feared weight class in MMA. How much longer can the aging Kongo compete with the younger up and coming fighters in a division, where every fight is only one punch or one kick away from someone getting knocked out? The way Kongo looked in his last fight, it’s worth recognizing that he can still compete for at least 1-2 more years, if he still has the desire in his blood, which that seems to be the case. If Kongo can stay in shape, keep his cardio up and continue to grow as a fighter, I do not see any reason for him to retire until he feels that he can no longer handle the other fighters in his weight class. This is a man who has faced some of the top heavyweights in the world and has won on many occasions. He has just never been able to stay consistent with more than a few wins at a time. If he can put together a string of wins, there’s no reason he can’t work his way towards another title shot under the Bellator brand. So we ask ourselves, is Kongo still relevant in the heavyweight division? For the time being, yes. Kongo remains an exceptional heavyweight that possesses all of the skills to stay relevant for the foreseeable future.