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A few weeks ago I made this thread: Ask your questions to UFC HW Cheick Kongo

Well here is the full interview (translated from French to English)

First of all, congratulations on your last win, over Paul Buentello. Are you satisfied with the fight?

Thank you. Satisfied, not really. I wasn't in good health, I caught food poisoning, like I often do when I go to the US by the way. I can't get used to the food, that's probably my biggest weakness. This said, it was still a nice victory, but it wasn't what I wanted. I did my best; let's say it was still gratifying.

Who would you like to fight next?

To be honest, people often ask me this question but the answer is always the same - whoever. I got to a point where the level is very high anyway, I take whatever I get, every fight is interesting, I'm just here to do my job and get the furthest I can.

During the UFC Q&A session in Toronto in March 2010, Dana White left the door open to a fight between you and Junior dos Santos. What do you think about dos Santos as a fighter?

He's dangerous, but who isn't in my division? He's young, hits hard, comes from a good school. If I have to go through him to get where I want to be, then yes, I'll definitely fight him.

If you had the choice between a rematch with Frank Mir or Cain Velasquez, who would you choose and why?

"Eeny meeny miney moe..." [Laughs.] To be honest, it's like heads or tails. I'm an athlete, a fighter. I do my job first and foremost. Whoever my opponent is, at this level, I know who I'm dealing with - the bests.

You only had 2 weeks to prepare for Cain Velasquez and had some knee-related problems in your training. With better preparation, how do you think a second fight against Velasquez would go?

Indeed, I only had two weeks to prepare [for that fight]. I was just coming off the Hardonk fight, barely had the time to recover and had to get back to work, and my knees gave me a rough time. With more time, I think a rematch would go faster and in my favor! And should it go to the judges' scorecards, the tables will definitely be turned. This way he can take as much [punishment] as I took. [Laughs]

In your opinion, who among Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez or Junior dos Santos is more deserving of a title shot against Brock Lesnar?

To me, it's Cain Velasquez - he's faced some good guys and he's the one who has the most fights and wins in the UFC. Then dos Santos. Carwin, not trying to take anything away from him, may be more marketable, but to me, Cain is the most deserving out of the three guys mentioned.

What did you think of the Mir vs Carwin fight?

Great fight, Carwin taught him a good lesson. Let's hope he learned it.

What do you think about the evolution of your weight class becoming more and more dominated by strong boxers-wrestlers such as Lesnar, Velasquez, or Carwin? What do you do to adapt to it?

I knit! [Laughs] The adaptation is in training. To me, there is no evolution. It's more a matter of strategy. They've just had very good training camps and better game plans.

How did you discover MMA and what brought you to this path?

I discovered that I was doing [MMA] without even realizing it. As a young boy, with my friends, we'd play fight, take each other down, see who could hit the other the most, we'd compare our strength, our agility. I practiced Judo very early, then wrestling, then Muay Thai and many other activities which I would use in our little brawls. Passion, training, perseverance, and the opportunities that life offered me led me to the UFC.

What were the challenges that you've encountered in your transition between Muay Thai in a ring and Muay Thai in an MMA cage?

None, as far as I'm concerned. Cage or ring, it's the same thing, you cannot escape... Our aspiring fighters must think about this thoroughly before making [fighting] their job. Seeing a cage and being locked in it is a total different story.

Many MMA fans are curious about your greco-roman wrestling background. Can you tell us more about it?

I have some recurring injuries, a few impairments, and even though I don't like to talk about them, they're still there. So the less I arouse them, the better, and the ground game stirs them up. To tell you the truth, I'm tired of hearing the same thing on this topic. It's common sense though. How did the Muay Thai fighter that I am manage to remain in the UFC for almost 3 years with wrestlers and other ground specialists, if I don't have enough background [in grappling]? I invite any of my critics to take my place in the Octagon and try, just once. Then we'll talk about it, if they can still open their mouth.

What is your favorite striking technique?

Taste, digest, and fall - the striking connoisseur will appreciate. [Smiles]

What is your favorite grappling technique?

Since it's been a while that I didn't use any, why even bother mentioning any? I leave the sceptics to meditate on my mediocrity in applying a lock or finishing a fight via submission. [Laughs] This being said, although it goes without saying, and I want to make it clear that I continue to train in this area, like the other areas.

How much do you walk around at?

Around the same [as my fight weight], more or less 2 or 3 kilos [5 or 7 lbs.], I almost always weigh the same.

How much can you bench and for how many times?

Well, it might surprise people, but I never bench. Push-ups guys!

Why do you think the UFC hasn't organized an event in France yet?

Why don't you ask them! I'm just an employee. And while you're at it, ask yourself why other international promotion companies balk at signing French strikers whether it is in Muay Thai or MMA? We can complain all day about the fact that things don't evolve, but we also have to change our mentalities and adapt.

How do you see MMA evolving in France in the next few years?

If it's well regulated, it will be a great thing. We have young prospects here in France who could shine in the sport, have a respectable career and be proud. Otherwise, it will become a big "dirty" business and the sport, its values, as well as its athletes, will suffer.

What advice would you give to a young fighter who wants to be in the UFC one day?

To come down to earth and think about the real reasons behind such a decision. That he takes his time, he's just discovering the sport, the [competition] level is very high. It's a lot of sacrifices, you need a pretty well-rounded and stable technical background, not to mention the pressure that you need to learn to handle and a good staff around you. Things don't happen in a blink of an eye. When you get started and you're under the spotlight of a big promotion, everything is different and then you realize that you just entered the lion's cage and that it will be impossible for you to get out unscathed... So what are you going to do? You pray for it to stop quickly and that you take the least amount of strikes as possible, because it's tougher than you imagined?! This is reality. You need strength, character and endurance. There is no showing off in a cage. MMA is the new thing - everyone wants to be part of it, the gyms are crowded with Wanderlei, Rampage and Fedor "wannabes", but there are a lot of candidates and few chosen ones. Let's not forget that there are risks inherent to this career. There are many people who stopped because of one fight. This is why I insist on supervision [of the fighters] - we have to protect the fighter's integrity as much as we can, respect the medical suspensions, with good supervision and coaches who listen. MMA is all of this. I lived alongside of it since I was a little boy - the judo, the wrestling, then the striking, then built my own experience with numerous events, tournaments, fights. Today, wherever I go, I know where I'm going. I built my career patiently, with the strength of my determination and the fruits of my labor. This is what we need to remember.

Who is your idol in combat sports, the one who inspired you the most?

I'm not and never been a fan. Though, those who've always been my strength and source of inspiration are my best friends, my little brothers, my eldests, I owe them for who I am today. These are the ones I thank. They know who they are.

What's your prediction for Rampage vs. Evans?

The heated question, you are looking for trouble, right? Rampage is B.A. Baracus. He doesn't like airplanes but when he punches someone, you can be sure that they will take off. [Laughs] Next question.

Who do you think is the best heavyweight and why?

Fedor. Probably because he manages his career extremely well.

A lot of fans mentioned your beef with Patrice Quarteron. Are you still planning on fighting him one day?

Quarteron. He used me to promote himself, whatever. I wouldn't have any pride in hitting a bag that wouldn't hit back. [Laughs] The fight is off the cards, he had his opportunity, didn't want take it, don't talk to me about him anymore.

Riddum.com would like to thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We are looking forward to meeting you in France soon, in your gym at Colombes.

It will be my pleasure to welcome you at the Kongo Smashin' Club! I'd like to thank Riddum, as well as my sponsors TapouT, Hugo Boss and Wheramfrom, ma family and friends, my team at Wolfslair, my friends and fans in Vancouver, the Suitela Club, the magazine Monte-Cristo, all of Canada through your website and everybody who supported me since the beginning, and HB City, Yeaaaah Baby.
http://riddum.com/index.php?option=...id=636:article-8&catid=50:ufc-news&Itemid=122


Good to see a different side of him. Cheick is quite the character.
 

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Great interview and the veil has been lifted on this mysterious fighter. I love watching Kongo fight and was pleasantly reminded that he only had 2 weeks to prep of Cain.
 

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Kongo on Fedor, JDS, Cain, Mir and more!!

Riddum exclusive - Cheick Kongo : "I built my career patiently, with the strength of my determination and the fruits of my labor" .
Mercredi, 21 Avril 2010 11:05 Riddum.com .Note des utilisateurs: / 3
MauvaisTrès bien


This is the English translation of our interview with UFC Heavyweight fighter, Cheick Kongo. The original interview is available in French by clicking on this link.




First of all, congratulations on your last win, over Paul Buentello. Are you satisfied with the fight?

Thank you. Satisfied, not really. I wasn't in good health, I caught food poisoning, like I often do when I go to the US by the way. I can't get used to the food, that's probably my biggest weakness. This said, it was still a nice victory, but it wasn't what I wanted. I did my best; let's say it was still gratifying.

Who would you like to fight next?

To be honest, people often ask me this question but the answer is always the same - whoever. I got to a point where the level is very high anyway, I take whatever I get, every fight is interesting, I'm just here to do my job and get the furthest I can.

During the UFC Q&A session in Toronto in March 2010, Dana White left the door open to a fight between you and Junior dos Santos. What do you think about dos Santos as a fighter?

He's dangerous, but who isn't in my division? He's young, hits hard, comes from a good school. If I have to go through him to get where I want to be, then yes, I'll definitely fight him.

If you had the choice between a rematch with Frank Mir or Cain Velasquez, who would you choose and why?

"Eeny meeny miney moe..." [Laughs] To be honest, it's like heads or tails. I'm an athlete, a fighter. I do my job first and foremost. Whoever my opponent is, at this level, I know who I'm dealing with - the bests.

You only had 2 weeks to prepare for Cain Velasquez and had some knee-related problems in your training. With better preparation, how do you think a second fight against Velasquez would go?

Indeed, I only had two weeks to prepare [for that fight]. I was just coming off the Hardonk fight, barely had the time to recover and had to get back to work, and my knees gave me a rough time. With more time, I think a rematch would go faster and in my favor! And should it go to the judges' scorecards, the tables will definitely be turned. This way he can take as much [punishment] as I took. [Laughs]

In your opinion, who among Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez or Junior dos Santos is more deserving of a title shot against Brock Lesnar?

To me, it's Cain Velasquez - he's faced some good guys and he's the one who has the most fights and wins in the UFC. Then dos Santos. Carwin, not trying to take anything away from him, may be more marketable, but to me, Cain is the most deserving out of the three guys mentioned.

What did you think of the Mir vs Carwin fight?

Great fight, Carwin taught him a good lesson. Let's hope he learned it.

What do you think about the evolution of your weight class becoming more and more dominated by strong boxers-wrestlers such as Lesnar, Velasquez, or Carwin? What do you do to adapt to it?

I knit! [Laughs] The adaptation is in training. To me, there is no evolution. It's more a matter of strategy. They've just had very good training camps and better game plans.

How did you discover MMA and what brought you to this path?

I discovered that I was doing [MMA] without even realizing it. As a young boy, with my friends, we'd play fight, take each other down, see who could hit the other the most, we'd compare our strength, our agility. I practiced Judo very early, then wrestling, then Muay Thai and many other activities which I would use in our little brawls. Passion, training, perseverance, and the opportunities that life offered me led me to the UFC.

What were the challenges that you've encountered in your transition between Muay Thai in a ring and Muay Thai in an MMA cage?

None, as far as I'm concerned. Cage or ring, it's the same thing, you cannot escape... Our aspiring fighters must think about this thoroughly before making [fighting] their job. Seeing a cage and being locked in it is a total different story.

Many MMA fans are curious about your greco-roman wrestling background. Can you tell us more about it?

I have some recurring injuries, a few impairments, and even though I don't like to talk about them, they're still there. So the less I arouse them, the better, and the ground game stirs them up. To tell you the truth, I'm tired of hearing the same thing on this topic. It's common sense though. How did the Muay Thai fighter that I am manage to remain in the UFC for almost 3 years with wrestlers and other ground specialists, if I don't have enough background [in grappling]? I invite any of my critics to take my place in the Octagon and try, just once. Then we'll talk about it, if they can still open their mouth.

What is your favorite striking technique?

Taste, digest, and fall - the striking connoisseur will appreciate. [Smiles]

What is your favorite grappling technique?

Since it's been a while that I didn't use any, why even bother mentioning any? I leave the sceptics to meditate on my mediocrity in applying a lock or finishing a fight via submission. [Laughs] This being said, although it goes without saying, and I want to make it clear that I continue to train in this area, like the other areas.

How much do you walk around at?

Around the same [as my fight weight], more or less 2 or 3 kilos [5 or 7 lbs.], I almost always weigh the same.

How much can you bench and for how many times?

Well, it might surprise people, but I never bench. Push-ups guys!

Why do you think the UFC hasn't organized an event in France yet?

Why don't you ask them! I'm just an employee. And while you're at it, ask yourself why other international promotion companies balk at signing French strikers whether it is in Muay Thai or MMA? We can complain all day about the fact that things don't evolve, but we also have to change our mentalities and adapt.

How do you see MMA evolving in France in the next few years?

If it's well regulated, it will be a great thing. We have young prospects here in France who could shine in the sport, have a respectable career and be proud. Otherwise, it will become a big "dirty" business and the sport, its values, as well as its athletes, will suffer.

What advice would you give to a young fighter who wants to be in the UFC one day?

To come down to earth and think about the real reasons behind such a decision. That he takes his time, he's just discovering the sport, the [competition] level is very high. It's a lot of sacrifices, you need a pretty well-rounded and stable technical background, not to mention the pressure that you need to learn to handle and a good staff around you. Things don't happen in a blink of an eye. When you get started and you're under the spotlight of a big promotion, everything is different and then you realize that you just entered the lion's cage and that it will be impossible for you to get out unscathed... So what are you going to do? You pray for it to stop quickly and that you take the least amount of strikes as possible, because it's tougher than you imagined?! This is reality. You need strength, character and endurance. There is no showing off in a cage. MMA is the new thing - everyone wants to be part of it, the gyms are crowded with Wanderlei, Rampage and Fedor "wannabes", but there are a lot of candidates and few chosen ones. Let's not forget that there are risks inherent to this career. There are many people who stopped because of one fight. This is why I insist on supervision [of the fighters] - we have to protect the fighter's integrity as much as we can, respect the medical suspensions, with good supervision and coaches who listen. MMA is all of this. I lived alongside of it since I was a little boy - the judo, the wrestling, then the striking, then built my own experience with numerous events, tournaments, fights. Today, wherever I go, I know where I'm going. I built my career patiently, with the strength of my determination and the fruits of my labor. This is what we need to remember.

Who is your idol in combat sports, the one who inspired you the most?

I'm not and never been a fan. Though, those who've always been my strength and source of inspiration are my best friends, my little brothers, my eldests, I owe them for who I am today. These are the ones I thank. They know who they are.

What's your prediction for Rampage vs. Evans?

The heated question, you are looking for trouble, right? Rampage is B.A. Baracus. He doesn't like airplanes but when he punches someone, you can be sure that they will take off. [Laughs] Next question.

Who do you think is the best heavyweight and why?

Fedor. Probably because he manages his career extremely well.

A lot of fans mentioned your beef with Patrice Quarteron. Are you still planning on fighting him one day?

Quarteron. He used me to promote himself, whatever. I wouldn't have any pride in hitting a bag that wouldn't hit back. [Laughs] The fight is off the cards, he had his opportunity, didn't want take it, don't talk to me about him anymore.
http://www.riddum.com/index.php?opt...id=636:article-8&catid=50:ufc-news&Itemid=122
i like Cheick. Good interview.
 
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You would say that after his Cain comments, Team Brown Pride and all that :thumb02:

I've heard people say they find him really arrogant but I find he comes across as quite laid back. Was a cool interview.

No idea he had a grappling background, that surprised me.
 

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JDS is going for the title shot in reverse it seems lol

everybody he has fought is lower ranked then his very 1st fight in the UFC and he has won them all. I wonder if that has ever happened over so many fights before?
 

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LOL as I heard someone say.

"Kongo should remember the leason Mir taught him, KEEP YOUR HANDS UP!"
 
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