I will tell you one thing about this fight, Cheick Kongo sucks at grappling. Yes he can strike but his grappling is so bad it is not even funny. About 6 months ago Kongo made a visit to Vancouver Canada and he stopped and rolled with some of my teammates at Dynamic MMA and some Marcus Soares BJJ fighters. Adam Ryan runs Dynamic MMA and he was putting on a show on Kongo. Yes Ryan has MMA experience and is a black belt in jujitsu under 7th degree BJJ black belt Marcus Soares but he was playing with Kongo on the ground and many guys ranging from blues, purple, brown belts in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu were also dominating Kongo on the ground. Cheick Kongo was basically being pimped on the ground. Kongo was only able to survive just on the fact that he was bigger and had freak strength.
If Kongo was getting dominated by some guys that don’t ever fight no gi, than what chance does he have with Frank Mir? Frank Mir is a legitimate black belt that will come into this fight heavier at 245 pounds than Kongo (230) and one inch shorter. There is no way that Kongo will be able to keep this fight standing and no way will he be able to defend Mir’s submission attempts.
Mir received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after only 5 years of training from Ricardo Pires who is a forth degree black belt under Professor Marcus Soares, from Carlson Gracie. Mir is a legitimate black belt with real skills while Kongo is barely a blue belt at best. Mir has the size and power to attack and submit Kongo in this fight.
It is not a matter if but when this fight hits the ground in this heavyweight fight. Just look at Kongo’s last MMA fight. He fought Cain Velasquez and in all 15 minutes of that fight he was on the ground for 12 of them. Velasquez was able to take him to the ground and basically control him and beat him down for 12 minutes. I would have personally scored each of those round 10 to 8 in favor of Velasquez. It was embarrassing how apparent his lack of skills were on the ground.
Now detractors of this article will say that Velasquez was a NCAA division 1 fighter and that it was his wrestling skills that were able to hold him down on the ground. Well first Mir has considerable wrestling skills where he went to Bonanza High School in Las Vegas where he had a record of 44–1. He started wrestling during his junior year and lost his first nine matches but won the state championship as a senior in 1998.
Yes Kongo has the advantage in the striking department but Mir has enough skills to bide his time before he will be able to take him down. Yes Kongo was the former Muay Thai World champion and can knock out Mir but Mir has fought top level strikers in the past. Mir fought Antoni Hardonk (who has a similar fighting style to Kongo) at UFC 74 and won via kimura in 1:17 of the first round. I predict a similar fate in the fight. Mir will take Kongo down and either attack the legs or the win this fight by kimura.
Bottom Line: If you think Kongo will win this fight you really don’t know mixed martial arts. The sports book odds makers opened the UFC betting lines with Mir as a -185 betting favorite. I would have opened up at -250 so this UFC sports bet is a steal on the money line. I would lay a lot of money on Mir to submit Kongo.
Kongo is no where near a top level fighter. He is the best example of a one dimensional fighter. He has great striking but no grappling whatsoever. He has used his size and strength in the past but Mir is a bigger fighter and will impose his skill on an unskilled fighter. This is the best UFC bet of the night. I would lay a huge amount of money on the money line and if there is a UFC prop bet I would bet on a submission victory in this fight.
Sleung is one of the world’s best mixed martial arts expert and is an expert UFC and MMA handicapping. Get all the latest MMA and UFC betting advice. If you want the latest handicapping advice and sports betting inside information on how to bet and handicap mixed martial arts for to the best MMA site in the world at www.fighting-mma.ocm