Friday, April 9, 2021

Alistair Overeem & Junior dos Santos Both Released From The UFC

UFC legends Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos have both been released from the UFC after a combined promotional run that spans over two decades.

Combate released a report Wednesday that revealed that Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem have been released from the UFC. This news has since been confirmed by multiple news outlets. Dos Santos released a statement himself via social media to confirm the news.

“Thanks @ufc for a great 12 years! I fought through MMA’s Murderer’s Row to get my shot at the belt. Holding and defending it was one of the great honors of my life. Thanks to every opponent, thanks to every fan and every critic. I’m going to spend some time back at the drawing board, but I’m excited to move on 😉🥊👀 OSS.”

As the above statement references, Junior dos Santos was able to reach the zenith of the UFC, capturing the world heavyweight championship in 2011 after defeating Cain Velasquez. Dos Santos would ultimately compete in a total of five title bouts throughout his legendary stint.

Dana White Says Junior Dos Santos Wants to Fight Alistair Overeem Next -  MMA Fighting
Junior dos Santos Basking In the Glow of Champion Status. Credit: Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Brazilian has not experienced the same success entering the new decade, however. He has lost four consecutive fights, with each loss coming by TKO. Despite the damage he has sustained recently, the 37-year-old’s statement gives every indication that he fully intends to continue his career in the sport.

Alistair Overeem is the owner of one of the greatest debuts in UFC history when he defeated Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. Unlike Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem was unable to ever capture UFC gold, though he has competed for it once. After a strong start against current champion Stipe Miocic, Overeem was subject to a come-from-behind defeat in the UFC 203 headliner.

UFC Fight Night 176: Alistair Overeem powers past Augusto Sakai and blasts  his way into heavyweight title contention | South China Morning Post
Alistair Overeem Enjoying His Final Victory in the UFC. Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Overeem has had mixed success since that night but has remained one of the company’s premiere knockout artists. Overeem’s four most recent victories have come by way of TKO, and over half of his 47 wins have come by the same method. Conversely, it was Overeem who was on the wrong side of the knockout last month when Alexander Volkov defeated him at UFC Vegas 18 in what will go down as his final UFC contest.

As of this writing, no statement has been made by Alistair Overeem about the release or his future in the sport.

How will you remember the UFC careers of Alistair Overeem & Junior dos Santos?