Bellator 150: Cheick Kongo Hopes to Lock up Title Shot, Fight For Belt, With or Without Vitaly Minakov
By Kelsey Mowatt
Cheick Kongo will take on Vinicius Queiroz this Friday at Bellator 150, and the heavyweight believes the bout could launch him into a title fight, even if the champ is still fighting abroad.
Bellator’s reigning champion is Vitaly Minakov, who has not fought for the promotion since April, 2014, when he decisioned Kongo. Due to contractual issues with Bellator, Minakov has been competing in his native Russia since, and has gone 3-0. Bellator, however, has not stripped the undefeated fighter of the title.
Recently Kongo (23-10-2) spoke with Full Contact Fighter, and when asked if he’s hoping to fight for the title by say the end of 2016, the French heavyweight stated:
“Oh yeah. But it won’t be for the end of the year it will be way before, because nobody’s fought for the title, it is available right now,” Kongo argued. “It’s been like more than two years you know. So if I fight for the title it will probably be for the next belt, the next title, so I don’t know what’s next…Hopefully after this fight, I will have a win on my side, and I will fight for the belt. After that I have to fight to defend the belt, against Minakov, somebody else, whatever.”
First things first, and that’s Queiroz (8-3), who is coming off finishes over Ewerton Teixeira and Lavar Johnson, after being stopped by former champ, Alexander Volkov. Originally, Kongo was scheduled to fight Augusto Sakai on February 26th, but an injury forced the latte to withdraw.
“It was but not really difficult to change the fight,” said Kongo, when asked if he had to change things up, in terms of his preparation and strategy, as a result of the opponent change. “Vinicius is probably lighter than Sakai, but for me, they’re the same these guys. They have a really good background in jiu-jitsu, both guys, they love to strike, so what can you say about that? They’re really good.”
Bellator 150 will be hosted by the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. In the main event, bantamweight champion Marcos Galvao will take on Eduardo Dantas. The latter KO’d Galvao in their first encounter back in 2013.
The main card will be broadcast on Spike.