Recently, the UFC announced that they cut ties with heavyweight legends Alistar Overeem and Junior Dos Santos. Both men were removed from the organization’s official rankings via their website. Initially, the news seemingly came out of nowhere. However, UFC President Dana White spoke with the media and announced that the cuts were simply part of the business. In short, White has no ill feelings towards either Overeem or Dos Santos.
Dana Speaks on Cutting Overeem and Dos Santos
White spoke with TMZ Sports to discuss the cuts. Despite the interviewer saying the cuts “came out of nowhere,” Dana was able to provide some perspective on what happened behind the scenes.
“Nothing happened behind the scenes,” said Dana. “They’re both great guys who’ve had incredible careers here (at the UFC.) I think that, first of all people get cut everyweek, i mean every that a show happens people get cut. I think those two (being cut) are pretty self-explanatory. It’s nothing negative. It’s just part of the sport. Look up what they’ve done recently, you look at their age, you look at everything that is going on, it’s pretty self-explanatory,” finished White.
On being asked if any bad blood between you guys.
“No”. said Dana. One hundred percent, we had a great run and love. Alistair and same the Junior Dos Anjos, so both guys. Alistair Overeem never said no to a fight, never turned down a fight, never said no, would fight anybody- and Junior Dos Anjos is one of the nicest human beings in the sport, so nothing but amazing things to say about both guys.”
Dana White also sheds some light on their relationship if it runs its course and now that they’re moving on to other parts.
“It’s not even that it’s ran (relationship), it’s course, it’s just like the one thing you know age is, it gets us all man. You know those guys (Overeem and Anjos). How good they are you don’t want to sit here and sh*t on them”. said, Dana.
“We all get old man, and you know we cut people every week, every week. People come and people go.”
During his career, Alistair won both the Dream and Strikeforce heavyweight titles. As well as becoming a legend in K1 kickboxing. However, he wasn’t able to seize the heavyweight title during his tenure in the UFC.
Dos Santos, on the other hand, was able to obtain the UFC heavyweight title from Cain Velasquez back in 2011. JDS was even able to defend his title once before ultimately losing to Cain once again at UFC 155.
However, contemporary performances presumably fueled the organization to cut ties with the legendary Brazillian. Dos Santos hasn’t won inside of the UFC octagon since 2019, racking up 4 losses within that span. But, the losses came from top surging contenders such as Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Ciryl Gane.
Now that both heavyweights have exited the company, new rankings will more than likely see new contenders emerge to the top.
Which new heavyweights will make some noise in the division now that Overeem and Dos Santos are gone?