At UFC 149, longtime UFC veteran Cheick Kongo made his successful return to the Octagon for the first time since a February loss to Mark Hunt. The man who stood across the cage from him was Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Shawn Jordan.
Jordan was riding a two-fight winning streak and made a successful UFC debut in March when he finished strongman Oli Thompson with punches in the second round.
This fight was a big step up for Jordan, who has shown a lot of promise but hasn't been challenged by a top star. Jordan used pressure to work the fight against the cage in the first round, but he was unable to secure a takedown. The experienced veteran reversed position and got Jordan's back halfway through the round.
Jordan leaned over to put a hand on the mat in hopes of not eating a knee. When Kongo went to throw a strike, Jordan threw a back elbow that landed low. The action took a break and the two restarted with little more than two minutes on the clock.
Using pressure to put the fight against the cage once again, Jordan controlled the remainder of the first round.
The second round saw continued clinch work, with Kongo having a little more control this time around. After several knees to the body and a grappling intensive bout, Kongo looks to have worn out The Savage by the midway point of Round 2.
The round ended after Kongo failed to sink in hooks for a back mount and Jordan rolled into side control, although he couldn't take advantage of the opportunity.
Going into the last round, the scores were likely even and Jordan was very tired. The former football standout continued to attempt to hold Kongo against the cage and stall, while Kongo didn't mind the clinch game; when he gained control, he threw knees and did some damage.
Both men collapsed in exhaustion after the fight concluded. The battle of position was not the striking encounter that people wanted, and there were some sloppy exchanges. Ultimately, Kongo was awarded the rightful decision.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for all things UFC 149, including up-to-the-minute results and reaction pieces.