Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo Fought to a No-Contest on Saturday night (Photo: Bellator)
By Chris Robinson
On Saturday, Sep. 7, inside of the SAP Center in San Jose, CA, Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (27-5, 1 NC) and contender Cheick Kongo (30-10-2, 1 NC) fought to a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke in the first round.
The fight was largely dominated by Bader up until that point, as he caught the Kongo brute with heavy blows and even scored a takedown as the round progressed. Kongo attempted to wall walk to his feet, only to eat some more strikes, before gesturing to his eye and noting that he was unable to see. Referee Mike Beltran then decided to halt the fight due to an eye poke, at 3:50 of the first, as the bout was declared a no-contest.
Kongo wasn’t looking too sharp early on, but he does have the right to state his case for a rematch. But it remains to be seen which direction the two men go from here.
After the match, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Bader nearly had a brawl. Jackson, it turns out, had been training with Kongo for the fight and the two are good friends. Jackson believes the eye poke was intentional.
Jackson, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, defeated Bader in a 2012 UFC card in Saitama, Japan. Could the two meet again?
”Obviously, it would have to be at super heavyweight,” said Bader in a MMAFighting.com article. “Sure, why not? It’ll be easier than the Kongo fight.”
Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com