At last weekends UFC 149, Cheick Kongo once again proved to many MMA fans his place in the Heavyweight division with a lack luster decision over Shawn Jordan. In what seemed like a motionless clinch against the cage, Kongo and Jordan did very little to show the world why Heavyweights are normally exciting and failed to get off any major striking exchanges in a drawn out 15 minute tussle.
This could be blamed on the game plan from the Greg Jackson camp to not stay at range against the former K-1 star but Kongo did very little to combat the clinch or even try to leave it when the opportunity was there. The fight was almost hard to judge with the lack of action and not one fighters career was elevated from the grind it out win.
So where do they go from here?
Well Cheick Kongo needs someone who will play at distance with him because his takedown defense has improved but we are yet to see if his offense followed. Lavar Johnson would be a great opponent or a rematch with the fast rising Travis Browne which he fought to a draw recently due to fouls and infractions. For Shawn Jordan the best route would be with another strong-willed fighter, Matt Mitrione being the best option or a good test with Chad Griggs could also turn out to be exciting.
Gatekeeper or not Cheick Kongo is good for the division and the huge athletic, intimidating fighter has long been a fan favorite at the weight class. Being a gate-keeper is not always the worst thing and Kongo should be proud of his long-term UFC Career when many guys are cut after one fight.
Expect a much stronger showing for Cheick Kongo as he continues to try to shake that gatekeeper tag.