Media Watch: Big Nog Wants Cheick Kongo
By Michael Hatamoto
PRIDE legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would like to fight French striker Cheick Kongo in Rio de Janeiro on October 13.
The fight would be a homecoming for Big Nog, and would have Kongo clearly fighting in hostile territory. The UFC hasn’t mentioned the fight lately – and would almost certainly have to be on the main card – which already has five scheduled fights.
Here is what Big Nog said in an interview with Tatame:
“It’s excellent to be recognized. When they tell us who we’re fighting we try to know more about the guy’s game and then there’s a challenge. I guess his idea was to study Jiu-Jitsu and my game plan the same way I tried to understand his game. I’ve been training on regular basis, I stopped feeling pains because of the impact, which was what worried me the most. If I don’t fight at UFC Rio 3 (153), I want it to be at the next possible date.”
Big Nog hasn’t fought since UFC 140 in December 2011, when Frank Mir submitted him with a kimura that broke the Brazilian fighter’s humerus. Nogueira vs. Kongo was originally scheduled for UFC 149 in July, but had to be replaced because the injury didn’t fully heal quite yet.
Kongo faced Shawn Jordan in a rather lackluster three-round fight that the Frenchman won unanimous decision.
I think a fight between Big Nog and Kongo would be a lot of fun, even if it doesn’t have relevance to the UFC heavyweight picture. Big Nog remains popular among a hardcore MMA fans, and Kongo typically has a crowd pleasing striking style.