UnderGround Forums Why Cheick Kongo is NOT a great striker

4/24/13 12:16 PM
1/2/12
Posts: 1534

 

Hey guys,

UFC 159 is coming up but there's not much to say about the main event - it's a gimme plain and simple. So today I'm looking at Cheick Kongo!

Hope you don't mind clicking the link and as always all feedback is welcomed!

Cheers,

Jack

Cheick Kongo is an enigma in MMA - someone who is continually billed as an elite striker based on his kickboxing record but who regularly looks flat and unpolished in the cage.

The 6'4" Frenchman carries a massive 82" reach and several titles in kickboxing, savate and Muay Thai yet has looked mediocre on the feet against all but the lowest level heavyweights. How can it be that a man with such a respected Muay Thai career could struggle on the feet against men like Matt Mitrione?

Video that I put together: The Curious Case of Cheick Kongo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RLcebDl8DQM

There is absolutely no denying that Kongo was incredibly skilled in his kickboxing career - the few videos that exist of it make him look sublime - but they highlight the errors which still plague his game and have been amplified to make him look so middling as a striker in the UFC.

What Kongo suffers from is the fate of any kickboxer who moves to MMA - he lacks the wrestling pedigree or ability to play guard to be able to throw kicks with impunity. Any time Kongo throws a kick he must constantly be aware of being taken to the mat.

Against good grapplers Kongo will fake kicks, but never actually throw any. Against Frank Mir, Kongo faked a couple of kicks which made Mir back up, but then proceeded to do nothing and Mir simply steamrolled him.

Kongo's second great weapon - the clinch - also falls apart against competent wrestlers and indeed opponents who have trained to shake off his blanketing tactics such as Mark Hunt who easily maneuvered himself off of the fence when Kongo went to the wall and stall.

The great downfall of any great striker moving to mixed martial arts is that if your kickboxing game is not solid in the punching department you have no areas of the fight in which you are the dominant party.

Kongo jabs with his head upright, his rear hand out of position and his lead shoulder low.

Barry connects a right hook over the top.

When Kongo is punching he is so used to being at his range - that of a man with a 80" reach - that he doesn't keep his guard up at all in many of his bouts. Watching him demolish some of the lower tier heavyweights whom the UFC matched him against in his early UFC career, Kongo will stand in front of them with his head upright, his non-punching hand down by his nipples and go completely unpunished for it.

As Mir lunges in Kongo extends his lead hand and drops his rear hand.

Loading up with his right hand, Kongo is in no position to defend himself.

Now that isn't to say that Kongo's hands are the worst in the UFC heavyweight division - not by any stretch of the imagination - clearly his reach and power are massively effective against men who lack the ability to slip and counter. Kongo did an excellent job against Mirko Cro Cop (in a fight full of dirty tactics by Kongo) at landing his right straight in combinations.

Continues at: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1615814-why-cheick-kongo-is-not-a-great-striker

4/24/13 12:16 PM
1/2/12
Posts: 1535

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RLcebDl8DQM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

4/24/13 12:21 PM
8/19/12
Posts: 1344
In Phone Post
4/24/13 12:24 PM
1/6/10
Posts: 4962

I will read it all but i dont think we needed all those words to tell us what we all already knew :p

 

Love your work, it's helping me see MMA (and all combat sports) in a different light. I can pretend I know what i'm talking about with my friends a little better because of you!

4/24/13 12:49 PM
1/2/12
Posts: 1536
Letibleu - 

I will read it all but i dont think we needed all those words to tell us what we all already knew :p

 

Love your work, it's helping me see MMA (and all combat sports) in a different light. I can pretend I know what i'm talking about with my friends a little better because of you!


Thanks for the kind words man!

I think most people are seeing Kongo's striking as pretty middling now but every time he fights it seems we hear about how great his striking is ;)

4/24/13 12:50 PM
1/17/11
Posts: 958
Letibleu -

I will read it all but i dont think we needed all those words to tell us what we all already knew :p

 

Love your work, it's helping me see MMA (and all combat sports) in a different light. I can pretend I know what i'm talking about with my friends a little better because of you!

Haha I usually show my gf his posts as she is sort of getting into MMA now. These posts make it easier to explain that it's not just two guys standing and wanging at each other or rolling around on the floor like it may seem sometimes. Phone Post 3.0
4/24/13 12:52 PM
1/17/11
Posts: 959
Honestly I just think he hasn't been eating his fruits and vegetables as Renato Laranja instructed him to. Phone Post 3.0
4/24/13 12:53 PM
1/6/10
Posts: 4966
Jack Slack - 
Letibleu - 

I will read it all but i dont think we needed all those words to tell us what we all already knew :p

 

Love your work, it's helping me see MMA (and all combat sports) in a different light. I can pretend I know what i'm talking about with my friends a little better because of you!


Thanks for the kind words man!

I think most people are seeing Kongo's striking as pretty middling now but every time he fights it seems we hear about how great his striking is ;)

 

Thats because everyone is stuck in a time warp (2006) and remembers Rogan raving about this dudes striking.

 

"I zust wunt to fit for de tittel"

4/24/13 12:54 PM
11/25/09
Posts: 848
Roy Nelson by TKO on Saturday

Safest bet of the night outside the main event.
4/24/13 12:59 PM
1/29/11
Posts: 14795
Nelson's clinch looked terrible against Mir and Werdum. Don't be surprised if Kongo spends the whole fight holding him there Phone Post
4/24/13 1:03 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 24427
An MMA fighters standup ability depends on his chin more than anything else.

We have seen sloppy fighters with good chins do well often. We have seen great strikers with weak chins get KOed often.
4/24/13 1:05 PM
8/12/11
Posts: 468
Not to nitpick, but could you make the YouTube able to be viewed on ipizzles. Good article and VTFU Phone Post 3.0
4/24/13 1:21 PM
1/10/13
Posts: 865

VU for edu-ma-cation.  I'm a long-term fan, but have no formal training.  Love easy to understand, concise, educated break-downs.

 

Have you done an article similar to this on Overeem?  If so, please point me in the right direction to find it.  If not, I think it would be very interesting reading.

4/24/13 1:51 PM
12/15/00
Posts: 13096

Well..in fairness...a groin strike is still a strike...and he is world class @ groin striking.  He has top of the food chain nut shot.  He may be the michael jordan of testicular damage. 

4/24/13 3:20 PM
10/1/11
Posts: 1583
Phone Post
4/24/13 4:12 PM
1/2/12
Posts: 1537
Condit's Face Broke My Hand -  Nelson's clinch looked terrible against Mir and Werdum. Don't be surprised if Kongo spends the whole fight holding him there Phone Post

This is how I'm feeling Kongo could pick up a dull win too. Nelson got rag dolled by Mir and that guy's wrestling is horrible.

4/24/13 4:21 PM
1/6/10
Posts: 4975

Could you PM me the name of that piano song in your video????

It would be very, very much appreciated.

4/24/13 4:25 PM
7/18/11
Posts: 17941
I never got an email back from you bro Phone Post
4/24/13 4:31 PM
5/29/12
Posts: 1962
Jack Slack - 
Condit's Face Broke My Hand -  Nelson's clinch looked terrible against Mir and Werdum. Don't be surprised if Kongo spends the whole fight holding him there Phone Post

This is how I'm feeling Kongo could pick up a dull win too. Nelson got rag dolled by Mir and that guy's wrestling is horrible.


Kongo will for sure try to turn it into a clinch fest as Nelson is notoriously weak there. I can see the overhand right crashing onto his jaw early though.

If Kongo can establish the clinch game I can actually see him winning, as Roy gets tired and his power fades in the later rounds
4/24/13 4:39 PM
6/22/11
Posts: 1474
Subd Phone Post
4/24/13 4:43 PM
4/11/10
Posts: 2926
"Sack full of dirty tactics" Phone Post 3.0
4/24/13 5:10 PM
10/25/11
Posts: 244
I cant stand Jack Slack. All he does is type on his PC how every single UFC fighter is terrible at striking.

Why not try and beat one of these guys up for a change instead of being a pompous keyboard warrior? Phone Post 3.0
4/24/13 5:24 PM
1/2/12
Posts: 1538
zazen br - I cant stand Jack Slack. All he does is type on his PC how every single UFC fighter is terrible at striking.

Why not try and beat one of these guys up for a change instead of being a pompous keyboard warrior? Phone Post 3.0

 

If that's what you think I do, you really don't understand.

If you only read the headlines I could see how you would get that impression though.

 

I wouldn't dream of saying someone like Cheick Kongo couldn't kick my arse from pillar to post with ANY aspect of his game - but everyone makes mistakes and knowing that is part of the magic of combat sports to me.

What I try to do is something that other journalists and analysts don't - use stills and footage to demonstrate stuff objectively. I try not to write down my opinion based off whether I like watching a fighter or not.

 

 

4/24/13 5:37 PM
1/2/12
Posts: 1539
caseharts -  I never got an email back from you bro Phone Post

Sorry man, had a crazy amount on this week - getting ready to go to Japan and was way behind on articles!

Will email you back tonight or tomorrow morning =) Love the idea and I'm sure some folks here will too!

4/24/13 5:49 PM
7/18/11
Posts: 17944
Jack Slack -
caseharts -  I never got an email back from you bro Phone Post

Sorry man, had a crazy amount on this week - getting ready to go to Japan and was way behind on articles!

Will email you back tonight or tomorrow morning =) Love the idea and I'm sure some folks here will too!

Thanks I wasn't trying to annoy just making sure I didn't get forget!get back to me when you can and Good article. Whose next? Phone Post