The only fight on the main card this Saturday not to feature an Englishman finds Frenchman Cheick Kongo battling American Travis Browne. Kongo will be making his 13th UFC appearance, believe it or not, and he holds an impressive if not overwhelming 8-4 record there. His standup style has been much maligned over the years and even to untrained eyes he looks like a sloppy fighter who simply knows how to get the job done. Once on the verge of a heavyweight title shot he slipped down a few notches by suffering two losses in a row to the always respectable Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir. From there he took part in the second ever televised fight in the history of UFC on Versus where he won a messy encounter against Paul Buentello. His stock may be lower than it was one of two years ago but he still ranks as one of the elite heavyweights in the world and presents a huge challenge for up and comer Travis Browne.
Browne brings a perfect 10-0 record into the Octagon though only one of those victories took place within the UFC. That was against Ultimate Fighter 10 vet James McSweeney and proved to the world that he was not somebody to be taken lightly. The fight was marred ever so slightly by a formal appeal by McSweeney’s manager to have the loss overturned due to illegal elbows to the back of the head. Nothing ever came of it and now Browne looks to skyrocket up the heavyweight ranks which he will do if he can pull the upset against Kongo. The oddsmakers currently have him as a +160 underdog which is tempting but unfortunately I don’t see any way he wins this fight that doesn’t involve luck. His patience will most likley work against him and he will learn the very hard way that finding a hole in McSweeney’s game is a whole lot easier than finding one in Kongo’s. Kongo will most likely have him picked apart before Browne knows how to respond properly. That’s not to say that I see it turning into a slaughter because I don’t. Browne could even win a round but by the time the 3rd rolls around I expect to see him make a fatal error that will open a door for Kongo to score his 10th knockout victory. It won’t be pretty but with luck it could be damn fun to watch.
Chris’s Pick: Kongo via 3rd Round TKO
Tags: Cain Velasquez, Cheick Kongo, Frank Mir, James McSweeney, Mixed Martial Arts, Travis Browne, UFC 120