After fighting in the Octagon 18 times, it appears as though Cheick Kongo’s UFC run has come to an end for the time being, following his KO loss to Roy Nelson last weekend.
The French heavyweight’s profile has been removed from the UFC website, which has prompted widespread speculation and reports that the fighter has been released by the organization. In a follow up report from MMA Junkie.com, a UFC official has informed the outlet that Kongo has completed his current contract and that he likely won’t be resigned.
The 37 year-old vet was floored by a Nelson right hand shortly into their UFC 159 bout, and a follow up punch from the American finished the deal. Prior to fighting Nelson, Kongo worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Shawn Jordan in July, which followed a TKO loss to Mark Hunt last February.
Kongo (18-8-2) made his UFC debut all the way back in 2006, and scored a TKO win over Gilbert Aldana. Since then, the powerful fighter has defeated established fighters like Matt Mitrione, Mirk “Cro Cop”, and Pat Barry, which was a KO win that’s forever burned into the memory of countless fans.
Due to his resume and stature, there’s no doubt Kongo will wind up fighting for another big stage promotion, if his time with the UFC has indeed come to an end.
Update: According to friend and training partner, Quinton Rampage Jackson, it was Kongo’s choice to leave the UFC after a loss.
Kongo was not cut. He refused a new deal like me. His old sponsor is full of crap,and started a dirty rumor.U should know the truth.
— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) May 1, 2013
Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports