Heavyweight Cheick Kongo has been tapped to replace an ill Heath Herring and take on undefeated up-and-comer Cain Velasquez in the co-headliner of UFC 99 on June 13th at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.
Herring was forced to withdraw from the event yesterday after an extended illness prevented him from training.
Kongo (14-4-1), a native of France who trains at the Wolfslair MMA Academy in the UK alongside the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Michael Bisping, has won five of his last six bouts, including three-straight over Dan Evensen, Mostapha Al-Turk, and Antoni Hardonk. His only loss since 2006 came against the man he’s replacing, as Herring picked up a close split decision victory over Kongo at UFC 82 last March. Kongo is 7-2 since first stepping into the Octagon in mid-2006.
A junior college national wrestling champion and two-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Arizona State, Velasquez (5-0) went 2-0 in bouts with Strikeforce and Bodog Fight in 2006 before debuting in the UFC in 2008. Fighting out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California, Velasquez has won all three of his UFC bouts, defeating Brad Morris, Jake O’Brien, and Denis Stojnic.
[Pictured: Cheick Kongo]