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Report: Cheick Kongo vs. Antoni Hardonk on tap for UFC 97

A heavyweight attraction pitting former professional kickboxing standouts Cheick Kongo and Antoni Hardonk has been added to the card for UFC 97 in April.

The news was first reported by the web site for the U.K.-based MMA magazine Fighters Only.

Kongo, 13-4-1, is currently on a two fight win streak with consecutive victories over Dan Evensen at UFC 87 and Mustapha al Turk at UFC 92. A veteran of eight UFC fights, Kongo is 6-2 and is considered a contender for the UFC heavyweight title that’s currently held by Brock Lesnar.

Hardonk, 8-4, has won his last three fights in the Octagon including wins over Colin Robinson at UFC 80, Eddie Sanchez at UFC 85, and Mike Wessel at UFC 92. After beginning his UFC career1-2, Hardonk has improved to 4-2 and a win over Kongo would likely move him into the title contender picture.

UFC 97 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 18 and will emanate from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. In addition to Kongo vs. Hardonk, the card is set to be headlined by Anderson Silva defending his UFC middleweight title vs. Thales Leites. Additionally, former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell will return to action against former PRIDE star Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

Other reported matchups for UFC 97 include David Loiseau vs. Ed Herman, Brian Stann vs. Krzysztof Soszynski, Luiz Cane vs. Steve Cantwell, Mark Bocek vs. David Bielkheden, T.J. Grant vs. Ryo Chonan, Jason MacDonald vs. Nate Quarry, Xavier Foupa-Pokam vs. Denis Kang, and Sam Stout vs. Matt Wiman.

  • meatloaf says:

    I would favor Kongo in this fight but it will be a lot closer than people think.
    Kongo is getting pushed as a contender and Herring is thought of as a gatekeeper and the reverse is more accurate Herring is a better fighter than Kongo proven in their fight at ufc 82 which seems to have been tossed aside when the ufc heavyweight food chain is brought up.

  • Rich S. says:

    this match-up is actually A LOT more interesting than some may think..

    all i can say is these guys are going to beat the crap out of each other..

    legs are going to be flying all over the place..

    i like it..

    they’re both GREAT kickboxers, yet Check is a great wrestler, and Hardonk has gotten great with submissions..

    should be VERY interesting..

  • Grappo says:

    KO of the Night in the making.


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