UFC releases heavyweights Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem

Originally published at UFC releases heavyweights Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem

The UFC has reportedly cut ties with heavyweight stars Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem.

Both have confirmed their departures through statements on Instagram.


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A post shared by Junior Cigano Dos Santos 🅾️➕ (@juniorcigano)

Dos Santos, 37, is coming off four consecutive stoppage losses against Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Ciryl Gane last December at UFC 256. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported the former champion was offered a fight for March 27th against Marcin Tybura and turned it down due to the short-notice and was later cut.

Dos Santos joined the UFC in 2008 and immediately made a mark as a relative unknown knocking out Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90. He won his first seven fights in the organization and secured a shot at UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in one of the most-watched fights in company history.

Prior to the UFC’s contract with Fox going into effect in January 2012, they had a special card on Fox in November 2011 featuring one fight airing on network television with the heavyweight title fight. Both Velasquez and dos Santos went into the fight with injuries, but it was a big night for the company and neither pulled out. Dos Santos defeated Velasquez in 64 seconds in a fight that was watched by over 9.5 million people on Fox and Fox Deportes.

Dos Santos lost the belt back to Velasquez the next year and then had a third fight in October 2013 that Velasaquez also won. The wars with Velasquez did a number on Dos Santos. His last victory occurred in March 2019 when he stopped Derrick Lewis.

Overeem, 40, has been fighting for over 21 years with over 80 fights between MMA and kickboxing.


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A post shared by Alistair Overeem (@alistairovereem)

He came to the UFC in 2011 and was put into a high-profile fight immediately at UFC 141 where he stopped Brock Lesnar, which sent Lesnar out of the sport for over five years and led to his return to WWE in April 2012.

After failing a pre-fight drug test in 2012 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, he didn’t fight again until February 2013 where he was knocked out by Antonio Silva. Overeem struggled losing two of his next three fights before mounting a four-fight win streak from 2014-16 leading to a shot at heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in September 2016 and losing by knockout in the opening round.

Overeem never fought for the title beyond the one time with Miocic and went 6-4 over the next four years. He fought earlier this month and lost by TKO to Alexander Volkov and ended a two-fight win streak he assembled in 2020.

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