Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and top contender Alistair Overeem have been released from the UFC, according to an initial report from MMA Junkie. The UFC itself has not yet announced the fighters’ departure.
Overeem’s last five fights, for which he’s gone 3-2, have been headliners. He started fighting for the promotion back in 2011, where he made his debut with a TKO over Brock Lesnar. Since then, he’s developed a reputation as one of the heavy hitters in the UFC, getting TKO and KO wins over names like Mark Hunt, Alexey Oleynik, and dos Santos himself. His most recent bout resulted in a TKO loss against Alexander Volkov, snapping a two-fight winning streak.
Dos Santos became the UFC heavyweight champion in 2011, about three years after his time with the UFC began, by defeating Cain Velasquez. He successfully defended his title with a win over Frank Mir before losing it to Velasquez in his next fight, marking dos Santos’ first loss in the UFC after a nine-fight winning streak for the promotion. Since his title loss, dos Santos’ record has consisted of alternating wins and losses. He was on a three-fight winning streak that included TKOs against Derrick Lewis and Tai Tuivasa, but after four straight TKO losses in his most recent fights, the UFC has decided it was time to remove him from the roster.
Dos Santos has commented on the departure and suggested that he wants to continue his fighting career.
The Jiu-Jitsu Times will provide updates on Overeem and dos Santos’ future career updates as they become available.