Kongo will debut with the company in September and participate in their Season 9 heavyweight tournament.
“After my contract was up in the UFC, I really wanted to take some time and reflect on everything,” Kongo said in a statement on the Bellator website. “After talking to the people around me, especially someone like my longtime friend in ‘Rampage’ [Jackson], he told me how well Bellator has been treating him and what we can do with Bellator, and after getting to know Bjorn Rebney, it just seemed like the right fit for me. I know I have plenty of fight left in me, and my fight in October is the first step to getting that Bellator Heavyweight Title.”
Kongo leaves the UFC with a 4-2-1 record since 2009 and holds victories over Mirko “Cro Cop,” Pat Berry and Matt Mitrione during his time with the organization.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said that Kongo’s appeal goes across the board of MMA fans, and praised the fighter being able to perform in a way that’s exciting for those that are watching.
“If you’re an MMA fan, you’re a Kongo fan,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “No matter who he fights he’s always going to bring the fight and put on a great show, and he’s one of the best guys you’ll have the pleasure of dealing with in MMA. This is another example of our alliance with Wolfslair and Anthony McGann resulting in our signing an exciting, explosive fighter to our roster who fans know and love.”
Details of Kongo’s contract were not immediately released.