Dazn is the exclusive streaming partner of Bellator MMA. You can sign up here and live stream 100+ fight nights a year.
Cheick Kongo will look to ruin Ryan Bader’s first heavyweight title defense when they meet on Sept. 7 at Bellator 226. The champion, for his part, will look to assert his dominance by defending the belt and continuing what is a current seven-fight winning streak. As the two heavyweights collide, take a look at some numbers significant to their showdown.
After losing to Roy Nelson at UFC 159, Kongo moved to Bellator in 2013 and has never looked back. He joined the promotion’s heavyweight tournament for his debut, beating Mark Godbeer to advance to the finals, which he won with a decision over Peter Graham. With the victory, he was awarded the opportunity to face undefeated heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov, however, Kongo would lose via unanimous decision. Kongo has fought for Bellator a total of 14 times, with a current professional record of 30-10.
Bader, meanwhile, announced in early 2017 that he had signed a six-fight contract with Bellator. His debut on June 24, 2017 was for the light heavyweight championship, which he won via split decision against Phil Davis. He successfully defended the title against Linton Vassell before stepping up at heavyweight to join the Bellator grand prix. He made his way to the finals, where he eventually beat Fedor Emelianenko for the vacant heavyweight strap, becoming the first simultaneous two-division champion in Bellator history. In all, he has appeared for the promotion five times and remains unbeaten.
Active win streak
Before racking up five straight wins at Bellator, Bader defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ilir Latifi in the UFC, making for a current seven-fight win streak.
With Kongo’s recent victory in a rematch with Vitaly Minakov, he is now on a successful eight-fight run, dating back to 2015.
Kongo has dropped and stopped 15 opponents since turning pro in 2001. With 30 victories to his name, he registers a 50 percent knockout rate. Among his victims are Timothy Johnson, Javy Ayala, Pat Barry and Paul Buentello. As for Bader, 12 out of his 27 career wins have come by KO or TKO, which makes for a 44 percent knockout rate. His most notable victims apart from Emelianenko are Nogueira, Latifi, Muhammed Lawal and Keith Jardine.
Both Bader and Kongo prefer to stand up, but they do have submissions in their respective arsenals. The opposing heavyweights have three submission wins apiece. Bader has tapped out the likes of Vladimir Matyushenko, Buckley Acosta and David Baggett. With 27 career wins, he registers an 11 percent submission rate. Kongo, on the other hand, holds a 10 percent submission rate. His victims are Lavar Johnson, Hans Nijman and Andre Tete.
Bader has lost only five times in his professional career, and all were in the UFC. He was knocked out by Anthony Johnson, Glover Teixeira and Lyoto Machida, and was submitted by Jon Jones and Tito Ortiz. Kongo has more losses with 10. He was knocked out by Nelson, Mark Hunt and Gilbert Yvel, submitted by Frank Mir and decisioned by Lawal, Minakov, Cain Velasquez, Heath Herring, Carmelo Marrero and Rodney Glunder.