CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA – Like most people, UFC president Dana White was not pleased by the effort put forward by Cheick Kongo in his UFC 149 main card bout against Shawn Jordan.
“Me, talking as a fan, not as the promoter, he looked scared to fight,” White told FightCove.com after the UFC 149 post-fight press conference in Calgary. “He would throw one punch and then clinch, one punch and then clinch. You know? He was fighting scared instead of fighting like the old Cheick Kongo.”
The UFC president gave a perfect analysis of the bout. Unlike Kongo’s typical strategy of trying to outstrike his opponent on the feet or take the fight to the ground and work ground-and-pound, the 37-year-old pressed Jordan against the cage and threw a minimal amount of strikes, none of which appeared to have the intention of ending the fight.
The three-round fight was one of the most lackluster on the card. For a bout in the heavyweight division, a weight class that usually produces the most unpredictable and exciting fights of all, Kongo vs. Jordan was the dullest fight of the night. And the fans in attendance agreed, booing loudly through a majority of the 15-minute contest.
White doesn’t blame Kongo and Jordan entirely for the uneventful bout, though. The UFC president also pointed his finger at the third man in the cage, referee Yves Lavigne.
“I’m so pissed at Lavigne.” White explained. “He just stands there and watches the guys clinch against the cage, like a dope. Not advancing their position, not doing damage, just standing there for two rounds. Then you let them do it for an entire five minutes in a three-round fight.
“I blame all three involved in that, the two fighters and the ref. But the ref’s job is to protect the fights, make the right calls and make sure they fight.”
When a reporter told White that Kongo revealed post-fight that he entered the event with a pre-existing clavicle injury, he replied with silence and a simple shrug of the shoulders.
As far as what White plans to do with Kongo next, he says the UFC matchmakers will put the 17-fight UFC veteran against an opponent that will push Kongo to the limit and produce an exciting fight.
“(Kongo) had a (expletive) performance,” White said. “He’ll be on another card against somebody, somebody that he won’t be able to one punch and clinch against.”
Mike Bohn, founder and lead writer of FightCove.com, wrote this article. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @FightCoveMike. Also, be sure to follow @FightCove on Twitter and “Like” Fight Cove on Facebook.