As we reported earlier today, veteran heavyweight stars Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem have both been released by the UFC and they’ve now released statements giving their immediate reaction to the news.
“Thanks @ufc for a great 12 years!” Dos Santos wrote on Instagram. “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.”
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani has additionally reported that the UFC had been planning to keep JDS around despite his current four-fight losing streak, but changed their minds after he turned down a short-notice fight against Marcin Tybura at UFC 260 on March 29th due to not having enough time to prepare.
Meanwhile, Overeem has also issued a statement confirming his release from the UFC, but not definitively confirming whether he now plans to retire or fight elsewhere.
“The final run has come to an end, but what a run it has been,” Overeem said on Instagram. “Looking back at my 10 years in the UFC, this has been the experience of a lifetime. Huge thank you to the entire UFC staff, the fans and all the fighters I came across. Couldn’t have wished for any other better career path. A special thank you to Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta for making everything possible. Fighting for all of you has been such an honor.