Cheick Kongo will try to dethrone Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov in the main event at Bellator 115.
Officials announced the bout for the April 4 event from Nevada’s Reno Events Center. It was the lone fight announced on Friday.
Minakov (13-0) became the new Bellator champion when he finished Alexander Volkov in November. The title was vacated by Cole Konrad upon the former college standout announcing his retirement.
“I am now the Bellator heavyweight world champion, and that isn’t going to change,” Minakov said. “It doesn’t matter who is in my way, they are getting finished. Kongo has been around for a long time and is a great challenger, but the belt is staying with me. I’m not giving my belt to anybody. This is my belt.”
Kongo (19-9-2) fought for several years in the UFC, competing against the likes of Mark Hunt, Roy Nelson and Travis Browne. He earned the shot at the Bellator title by defeating Peter Graham in a tournament final last year.
“Being a champion is something I’ve wanted for a while,” Kongo said. “It’s not about having it now, or fighting for right now. It’s about when I’m old and retired from the sport, I can always look at that belt on my wall, and know that is why I put in all the hours and made the sacrifices I did. It means a lot to me, and it’s something I want to collect on April 4.”