Junior Dos Santos has been through a rough patch recently. The ex-champ has dropped four in a row, all being by knockout to the very best in the Heavyweight division. Soon after his last loss to French powerhouse, Cyril Gane, Dos Santos would also be dropped from the UFC.
Along with another legend in Alistair Overeem, the future hall-of-famer would be released from his current UFC contract. This would surprise Dos Santos, who revealed that he had been offered fights after enduring a tough losing streak.
The release didn’t come to much shock to MMA fans but it was definitely of emotional value to say goodbye to the always cheery ‘Cigano’ and arguably the best singer in the UFC.
Running Out Of Time
Talents aside, near the end of his career with the promotion however, the UFC wasn’t giving the former champion many options. Dos Santos revealed the UFC was not giving him much time to prepare and was ignoring his requests to fight later rather than sooner. As time to prepare lessened so would the duration left in his 13-year run inside the Octagon.
“Against Cyril Gane, it was like this.” Dos Santos said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. It was six weeks or something for it. I was in Brazil and I wasn’t really training and they offered me the fight, you’re gonna fight on December [12th] with Cyril Gane.”
“I said, okay I’ll fight him, but put the fight for January, please. Because I’ll have enough time to get prepared. Then they already told me that ‘no, we need you to do get this fight now because if you don’t get it, we were thinking about releasing you from the contract.”
“I said, man, you’re not giving me [any time]. It’s not an option. You’re not asking me. You’re saying that, I have to fight this day, even if I can or not. So then I said, yes, I went to the fight. I cannot complain. I was, I was ready. I trained good. I have a very good body memory. I got in shape very fast. I was ready, but it wasn’t the necessary time for a real fight, especially for a tough guy like him. eah, you know, so I went to the fight and it happened the way it happened.”
The Beginning Of The End
“Before they released me, I was in a conversation with Hunter [Campbell] before the conversation with Hunter, they offered me to get the fight with [Marcin] Tybura on [March] 27th. I said, ‘man, it’s right now, I came from my concussion with Cyril Gane the same. I was coming from my concussion and I think, give me some time so then I can get prepared for the fight. I want to fight but not right now.”
Dos Santos wanting more time to fight Marcin Tybura was the last straw in the UFC playbook.
“So then they finally decide, to release [me]. You know what it sounds for me? It’s like dictatorship. You have to follow it, whatever they want, if you don’t, you go away and here I am. I went away.”
Turning The Page
Despite being sad about leaving the UFC after 13 years, Dos Santos still wore a smile on his face. He was ready to move on from the MMA world leader.
“I’m very excited about this new chapter. Uh, and the most important thing is I love what I do. I love to be who I am, and I can’t wait to be fighting again.”
It is unknown at this time where Junior Dos Santos will go next, but he has been in talks with several promotions already such as Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.