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UFC and Cheick Kongo Part Ways as Organization Won't Renew Contract

Damon MartinContributor IMay 1, 2013

There has been more than a little bit of confusion surrounding UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo and his status with the UFC following his loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 159.

Bloody Elbow reported that his profile on UFC.com had been removed, meaning it was likely Kongo had been released from the UFC following his recent loss.

Since the defeat, Kongo has made no public statement about his future with the UFC, but speculation ran wild that he had been cut from the roster.  The loss at UFC 159 moved Kongo's record to 2-2 over his last four fights overall.

UFC officials confirmed with Bleacher Report on Wednesday via email (as well as MMA Fighting) that Kongo's fight at UFC 159 was actually the last bout on his current contract.  At this time, it appears his deal with the promotion will not be renewed.

Kongo began his run with the promotion all the way back in 2006 when he had his first fight at UFC 61 against Gilbert Aldana.

Throughout his time with the UFC, Kongo amassed a 11-6-1 record overall while picking up wins against fighters such as Mirko "Cro Cop," Pat Barry and Matt Mitrione.  His victory over Barry is considered one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history—Kongo was knocked down twice in the first round only to battle back with a knockout punch that won him the fight and the "Knockout of the Night" bonus to boot.

Kongo also went to a draw with current heavyweight competitor Travis Browne in a closely contested bout.

While always a competitor in the heavyweight division, Kongo struggled to ever reach the heights of the weight class, falling just short every time he appeared to be on a run towards contender status. 

Losses to names like Cain Velasquez, Frank Mir and Mark Hunt always seemed to keep Kongo from getting into scenarios that would lead to title fights.  His most recent loss last weekend at UFC 159 ended after former winner of The Ultimate Fighter Roy Nelson connected with a huge overhand right that sent the French heavyweight crashing to the canvas.

With all signs pointing towards the UFC not renewing his contract at this time, Kongo will likely fight for a new promotion when he signs his next deal at some point in 2013.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.

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