Cheick Kongo’s UFC contract expired, will not be renewed

Longtime UFC Heavyweight Cheick Kongo has reportedly received his walking papers from the UFC today following his one-sided KO loss to Roy Nelson last Saturday. Kongo had been a staple of the UFC for many years, but his inability to pull off big wins in big fights ultimately spelled his undoing. 

UFC officials confirmed Kongo’s contract had expired and will not be renewed today with MMA Fighting, signifying his release.

Alden Halpern of MMA Elite tweeted the unfortunate news earlier today:

The massive French kickboxer had been on an upward trend prior to meeting Nelson at UFC 159, winning three out of his previous 4 bouts. However, his wins were over Pat Barry and Matt Mitrione while his losses were to Nelson and Roy Hunt.

He was also knocked out in those two bouts, signifying his ability to get to the big fight but not win it outright. This has been a common trend for Kongo, who also lost to perennial top-ranked heavyweights in Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir. That had to lend to his release, and perhaps his snore-inducing win over Shawn Jordan at last summer’s maligned UFC 149 had a hand in the decision as well.

With his release, Kongo will look to land in a smaller MMA promotion, and most likely will soon. He could make an exciting opponent for the heavyweights in Bellator, and a Kongo-Arlovski bout over in WSOF would a slugfest I guess I’d watch. It seemed like Kongo still had some life yet in the UFC as a gatekeeper, but nothing more.

His asking price may have grown too high due to his long tenure as well. We’ll await an official announcement from the UFC. Did Cheick Kongo deserve to be cut, or had he earned one more shot? 



12 Comments

  1. Profile photo of InfiniteEnigma

    InfiniteEnigma

    May 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I was pretty sure he would lose via K.O. to Nelson, as he would not stop him and eventually get caught. Sad, he has been a long time good fighter to watch , and after this loss, I was wondering if he would be announcing retirement considering age. Did not expect the cut, but he is the eternal gate keeper, maybe he will do good in another organization. Best of luck Kong.

    • Profile photo of Baby Ads

      Baby Ads

      May 2, 2013 at 12:04 am

      congo should not be resigned because of his inconsistent fights, i think there are lots of heavyweight in the planet, fallon fox should be signed in the ufc, i think he's sick and very good fighter, how come she should fight a guy not a woman.

  2. Profile photo of KeithFarrell

    KeithFarrell

    May 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    wow… the fighter with the most fights in the UFC Heavyweight's division ever, quite a big drop. When I think about it though, It's probbaly his name value rather than his actual current ability that shocks me in his cutting.

    In his last 3 fights he has been devastatingly finished twice and the other fight, in which he won, was one of the most boring and unimpressive fights/performances I've ever seen.

    Actually in the last 2.5 years, the only exciting parts of his fights were when he was either dropped, KO'd or a combination of both with him somehow coming back to stop Barry.

    Looking back at his record, he may have been not as good as I thought. He only has one arguable top 10 win ever and that was over Cro Cop years ago. Mitrione was really hyped when Kongo beat him but we've found out Mitrione is still far away from being elite.

    I will actually miss seeing Kongo compete in the UFC, his name always made a card look better and a some of the time, maybe due to his weakening chin, something exiting and devastating happened.

  3. Profile photo of KeithFarrell

    KeithFarrell

    May 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Just noticed he is not officially cut.

    The account who tweeted this has later said he is not sure if it's true and is replying to people who said it is not true.

  4. Profile photo of 51JD51

    51JD51

    May 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Not really surprised by this, Kongo was a fun fighter to watch and Rogan's comments about him being built like a superhero were always entertaining but he's in his late 30s now and he's not really needed as a gate keeper. Hopefully he finds a couple fights outside the UFC before calling it a career – Cheick Kongo vs. Anthony Johnson anyone? Lol.

  5. Profile photo of N.C.

    N.C.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Kongo should stay, there are a lot of guys who can get cut before Kongo. If anything Kongo may need to take a pay cut. That or the others open a hw tourny. Kongo is one of those guys who's a gatekeeper in UFC but would dominate in other places. I dont see bret Rogers stopping Kongo.

    I hope he stays, he's like Clay, Dan Hardy etc, you just wanna see him fight. Regardless if he wins or loses.

    • Profile photo of IChokePeople

      IChokePeople

      May 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      I agree with most of your post but I think Rogers would KO Kongo at this point. Kongo's chin has been looking very suspect as of late. I think that Kongo would win most of the fight but Rogers, like Nelson, only needs one good punch to end the fight and I think he would eventually get it. Kongo would only win if he made it a wrestling match and I don't think that he would.

      • Profile photo of N.C.

        N.C.

        May 1, 2013 at 10:21 pm

        I actually was thinking the same thing. But Rogers is too sloppy to KO Kongo. Kongo is suffering from gate keeper syndrome. He can beat nearly his whole division. Minus the top contenders. But in the end, i'd still take Kongos crisp kickboxing as a A league Gate keeper, over Rogers brawling as a B league gatekeeper.

        Roy also has a completely different resume then Rogers. Roy was a former HW champ, his BJJ is much high and decorated and he's a TUF 10 winner. I think Meathead and Rogers on the other hand would be a epic war.

  6. Profile photo of IChokePeople

    IChokePeople

    May 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    This is sad. Kongo is, as others have stated, a perennial gate keeper but he always puts on a good fight. Remember when he rocked Cain about a billion times in one fight? How about when he was out on his feet and about to go to sleep and then he came back just in time to KO Pat Barry, huh? Good times, good times indeed.

  7. Profile photo of TheRealDeal

    TheRealDeal

    May 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Awwww!!!!!!

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