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Cheick Kongo Gives Himself A 39th Birthday Present

Cheick Kongo

Former UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo celebrated turning 39 with a TKO victory over Eric Smith at Bellator 120 Saturday night. The bout concluded the prelims on Spike TV.

Kongo withstood a strong effort from Smith, who hadn’t won a fight in years. Kongo (21-9-2) was coming off a decision loss for the Bellator title to Vitaly Minakov in April.

“Today is my birthday,” Kongo said, before adding that he wants to continue fighting despite turning 39. “I’m black, happy and proud.”

After a 2013 knockout loss to Roy Nelson, Kongo signed with Bellator. He made his debut in the Season 9 heavyweight tournament, scoring a second round TKO over Mark Godbeer. The French fighter earned his shot at the belt when he topped Peter Graham.

Kongo fought in the UFC from 2006-13, going 11-7-1.