Kongo is not expected to re-sign with the promotion, which should lead to his formal release.
Although it's not yet official, it appears that veteran heavyweight gatekeeper Cheick Kongo may be the next big name cut from the UFC.
Bloody Elbow reports that the Frenchman's fighter profile has recently been removed from the active heavyweight roster section on the official UFC website, which lists every heavyweight who is currently under contract with the promotion.
That seems to indicate Kongo will be let go as a result of his first-round "Knockout of the Night" defeat to Roy Nelson at UFC 159.
Carrying an 11-6-0-1 record in the UFC so far, Kongo has lost twice in his last three bouts, also dropping a surprising first-round knockout loss to Mark Hunt at UFC 144.
Should the UFC keep Kongo?
That's never a good sign, as the UFC has been making cuts across the board, with an emphasis on eliminating aging, overly expensive talent.
If that turns out to be the case, the 37-year-old, 18-fight UFC veteran could see some demand on the regional MMA market, especially since Kongo is an extremely recognizable fighter.
However, promoters may also have trouble matching what he has so far been paid by the UFC.
Several of Kongo's last matches haven't seen his salaries disclosed to the media, but over the years, his rates have steadily gone upward.
According to MMA Junkie, the Wolfslair MMA Academy standout made a disclosed $140,000 for a critically-panned fight at UFC 137 in Las Vegas, which included a $70,000 win bonus for a mild decision win against an overmatched Matt Mitrione.
That may fit the mold of a fighter who's on the downside of his career while simultaneously being "super f---ing expensive," a term UFC president Dana White used when cutting former welterweight contender Jon Fitch (via MMA Junkie).