Kongo brought the news to fans via Twitter (@iamcheickkongo) along with the poster included with this post.
Yes It’s official now, I’m gonna fight Mark Hunt at @ufc 144 in Japan . This will be my first time in Japan so Im very excited and proud to be a part of it, especially now that my bro @Rampage4real is going to fight there too ! Have a nice weekend, y’all !
UFC 144 is expected to take place on Feb. 26 at the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan. Kongo’s Wolfslair teammate, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, is expected to co-headline the event against Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader. The bout between Kongo vs. Hunt should take place on the main card of the event.
Kongo is coming off a solid performance Matt Mitrione last October at UFC 137, earning a unanimous decision at the Las Vegas event. The French fighter is now 3-0-1, which includes a “come-from-behind” knockout of Pat Barry last June at UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry event. Barry scored with several solid shots, which appeared to have KO’d Kongo on his feet, but as Berry continued to press for the finish, Kongo scored with an uppercut to end the fight at 2:39 of the first.
Hunt was brought into the UFC with a five-fight losing streak in order to settle a contract that the ‘Super Samoan’ had with PRIDE, which Zuffa had purchased in 2007 in order to gain some of the talent signed to the Japanese based promotion. Hunt would lose his UFC debut to Sean McCorkle at UFC 119, but would go on to win two straight by stopping Chris Tuschscherer in Sydney at UFC 127 and then a unanimous decision against Ben Rothwell this past September at UFC 135.
I expect these two former kickboxers to stay standing with both fighters looking for the knockout finish. If one of them takes the bout to the ground it’s likely going to be Kongo who may hold a slight edge. Either way, fans should expect a short bout with an exciting finish.