Cheick Kongo knew his UFC contract was up with the Roy Nelson fight and figured the promotion would offer a contract worth interest. That didn’t happen and the heavyweight joined Bellator as he enters their heavyweight tournament.

“I didn’t get it,” said Kongo to MMA Junkie. “I got an offer, but not an offer I liked. I got the possibility to fight for the belt. That’s the reason I’m here now.”

At April’s UFC 159, Kongo ended his UFC run at 11-6-1. He had been with the promotion since 2006 but never earned a title shot.

The Season 9 heavyweight tournament begins in September. The entrants haven’t been officially released.

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