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The heavyweight tilt between Cheick Kongo
and Matt Mitrione
could best be described as underwhelming. Where many expected a slugfest with the fight not going to a decisions, fans were disappointed when neither fighter wished to commit. Mitrione is a product of the Ultimate Fighter and has been on an absolute tear since making his UFC debut. Kongo was considered a potential title challenger when he first entered the UFC, since then settling into the role of gatekeeper. It was believed that a win tonight would catapult Mitrione into the top 10 of the division.
The first round was perhaps one of the worst rounds in recent history. Neither fighter came forward and there was a lot of dancing. Mitrione was more active but wasn't able to land anything of significance. Kongo circled well and landed some leg kicks. It was reminiscent of Starns/Quarry.
Round two saw both fighters finally push the action a bit more but Kongo continued to circle away. Mitrione was unable to cut off the cage and didn't land much. He was the aggressor and pushed the fight. Kongo found success with his leg kicks.
The final round was when Cheick Kongo finally unloaded. Two big takedowns and some ground and pound turned this into a dominant and clear win for the Frenchman. He damaged Mitrione's face, opening up a cut underneath the left eye of the former Purdue Bowlermaker.
Kongo continues his role as the UFC's heavyweight gatekeeper. He's able to defeat prospects but has difficulty with the established names of the division. For Matt Mitrione the fight should be seen as a learning experience. He took a big step up in competition and was shown that he still has massive holes in his MMA game.
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