Cheick Kongo To Face Paul BuentelloThe Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to add to its debut card on the Versus network. The promotion confirmed today that a heavyweight bout between former contender Cheick Kongo and one-time title challenger Paul “The Headhunter” Buentello will be part of the March 21st event. is also reporting that a middleweight fight between Yushin “Thunder” Okami and Lucio “Spartan” Linhares and a welterweight clash pitting Mike Pierce against Rob “The Rosedale Reaper” Kimmons are both being targeted for the Versus card.

Kongo (14-6-1) has twice been on the verge of title contention in the UFC, but a loss to “The Texas Crazy Horse” Heath Herring at UFC 82 first derailed the Frenchman’s title hopes and he is currently in the midst of a two-fight losing streak. Following a lopsided decision loss to current top contender Cain Velasquez at UFC 99, Kongo was choked unconscious by former champion Frank Mir in 72 seconds at UFC 107. A third loss could spell the end for Kongo’s tenure in the promotion.

Buentello (27-11-0) is equally in need of an impressive win. The veteran returned to the UFC at UFC 107 after nearly four years away from the Octagon, but dropped a Majority Decision to Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve. A second straight loss could result in Buentello’s abrupt departure from the UFC and, with a return to Strikeforce out of the question, the hard-hitting brawler will need to put on an excellent performance against Kongo.


Okami (23-5-0) was on the brink of a title shot for close to two years, but UFC brass were unimpressed with the Japanese star’s style of fighting and relegated him to undercard bouts. A one-sided loss to wrestling standout Chael Sonnen at UFC 104 seemingly put an end to Okami’s title hopes for good, but he could return to contention with a string of impressive wins. He will face a solid test on March 21st.

Linhares (13-5-0) made his Octagon debut at UFC 107 and engaged in a competitive bout with submission ace Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares before succumbing to a second-round heel hook. The native of Brazil has won all but four times by stoppage and possesses an excellent ground game, which allowed him to escape many of Palhares’s submission attempts. Linhares will give up a significant edge in wrestling and power to Okami, but he is dangerous wherever the fight goes.


Pierce (10-3-0) defeated former WEC title challenger Brock Larson in his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 19, but drew the ire of Zuffa management for what was perceived to be a very lacklustre performance. He returned to action at UFC 107 and lost a clear-cut decision to top contender Jon Fitch, but managed to hurt Fitch badly in the final round. A loss would likely end Pierce’s UFC run.

Kimmons (22-5-0) has competed four times inside the Octagon and sports a 2-2 record thus far. All of the submission specialist’s career defeats have come against high-level competition and a win over Pierce would be a significant step forward for the Kansas City native. Kimmons has only gone the distance four times in his career and always looks to finish his opponents.


“UFC On Versus 1: Vera vs Jones” takes place on March 21st at the Odeum Colorado in Broomfield, Colorado. The event airs live on the Versus network in the United States.


(Photo Credit:

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Sargent, Adam Mastersen. Adam Mastersen said: Three Fights Added To “UFC On Versus 1” Card | The Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to add … […]