Cheick Kongo comments on the end of his UFC tenure; tells fans not to worry

Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE

Eighteen-fight UFC veteran Cheick Kongo is no longer a member of the promotion's roster after a nearly eight-year stint with the organization. Having completed his contract in the form of a UFC 159 defeat to Roy Nelson, the Frenchman took to his Facebook page to give an update to fans and explain the nature of his departure from the UFC.

Cheick Kongo's departure from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) appears to be slightly overblown.

Following his first-round knockout loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 159 last month, news surfaced that Kongo's profile had been released from the organization's official website.

From there, it was misreported that Kongo had been released from the UFC when, in fact, he was not. The Frenchman completed his contract with the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization with the loss to Nelson and opted to decline a new four-fight deal prior to the event.

Why Kongo decided to turn down the deal remains a mystery at this time, but the 37-year-old insists he is not on the outs with the UFC brass and the next step in his career will be based on what is best for him.

"Don't believe he said- she said stories," Kongo wrote on his official Facebook page (translated from French). "I have not been cut by the UFC. I am Cheick Kongo so I know BEST what's NEXT for me. It doesn't mean that I am leaving the UFC, it doesn't mean that I am staying, it means this is my LIFE.

"Do not believe what we tell you. I am in the best position to know what happened to my career in the UFC. AND do not worry. For the moment, be aware that in no case the UFC not dismissed me and I am on very good terms with the American organization."

The end of Kongo's UFC tenure came as a surprise to many. Despite a less than stellar 1-2 record in his past three fights, Kongo has been a mainstay in the UFC heavyweight division since his debut with the organization in July 2006.

Since his debut, Kongo has competed under the UFC banner 18 times --the second most of any heavyweight in history-- going 11-6-1 in that time. Moreover, he has landed more total strikes and spent more time in the Octagon than any heavyweight ever.

Kongo has not hinted as to where he will end up in the future, but he is certainly leaving the door open for a return to the Octagon.

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