UFC parts ways with Cheick Kongo

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cheick Kongo's UFC career, at least for now, has come to an end.

The promotion has decided against re-signing the French veteran after his first-round knockout loss to Roy Nelson last Saturday night at UFC 159, a UFC official confirmed with MMAFighting.com on Wednesday. The official stated that that fight was the last on Kongo's current contract.

According to Kongo's long-time manager Anthony McGann, Kongo was offered a four-fight deal before the Nelson fight, but he turned it down after they couldn't agree on terms. He was not offered a different deal after the fight.

The 37-year-old Kongo (18-8-2) went 3-2 in his last five fights. A former kickboxer, he made his Octagon debut at UFC 61 in 2006 against Gilbert Aldana. He won that fight and would go on to win four of his first five UFC bouts.

Kongo leaves the organization with an 11-6-1 record inside the Octagon. His most memorable UFC win has to be his comeback first-round knockout of Pat Barry at UFC Live on Versus 4 in June 2011.

Last week, prior to the Nelson fight, he told MMAFighting.com that he was hoping to fight another two or three years but is content with what he has accomplished throughout his 12-year MMA career.

"I got to give myself, probably, two, three more years to reach [a title shot]," he said. "If not, whatever, I have enough memories to retire and go on my way and do something else."

McGann said Kongo will definitely continue fighting outside the UFC.

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