There is something to be said for fighters who can stay in the UFC for a long time without being cut. Cheick Kongo is one of those guys, as a longtime stalwart of the UFC Heavyweight division, making his debut in 2006 and amassing 18 fights within the UFC. Kongo always did enough to stick around the UFC and was commanding a pretty hefty salary for a fighter in his position, and according to reports, his contract was up after the fight with Roy Nelson and he opted not to renew said contract.
One has to assume that he was offered a lesser deal and that the 37 year old decided to simply walk away from the Octagon as opposed to continue fighting for less money with no real prospects of a title shot at any point in the near future for the aging fighter. He will forever go down in UFC history for that crazy fight with Pat Barry where Barry had him knocked out, only for Kongo to come back and then score a dramatic knockout over Barry. [Source: MMAWeekly]