• UFC 149

I'm far from finished - Cheick Kongo

ESPN staff
April 27, 2012
Cheick Kongo still craves the roar of the crowd © Getty Images

Cheick Kongo is convinced people would be wrong to write off his career following the recent loss to Mark Hunt, insisting he will bounce back in his next bout with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Kongo's move up the heavyweight ladder was derailed at UFC 144, when he was knocked out after two minutes and 11 seconds of his bout with Hunt. Defeat ended a two-fight win streak for the 36-year-old and raised question marks over his future.

However, Kongo is set for another big fight with the announcement that he will meet Nogueira at UFC 149, and he explained that the Hunt loss was just one of those nights when nothing felt right.

"I just fought at a bad time against Mark," Kongo told ESPN. "It was a bad time and I struggled to focus.

"Sometimes you are ready physically and mentally, but on this occasion that wasn't the case. It was a bad night, a very bad night, but I've already turned the page and am looking to the future."

Addressing the subject of retirement, Kongo clearly had no intentions of hanging up his mitts. Having spent over a decade in professional MMA, the Frenchman insists he still needs the buzz of competing.

"I'm not ready for that (retirement)," Kongo said. "I don't know why people would suggest that. I'm still in shape, I'm still hungry, and sometimes magic happens. I'm absolutely focused and that's where I am.

"The only thing I try to do is put a show on for the fans, try to get the roar from the crowd."

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