Two of the UFC’s most famous heavyweight veterans, Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos, have been released from the roster.
For the 40-year-old Overeem the axe fell at a time when he himself at been openly speaking about the possibility of retiring in the near-future.
However, at the start of the year Overeem was riding back-to-back wins and had told the media he believed he still had one last title run in him before hanging up his gloves, having never won the UFC belt to add to his impressive trophy cabinet, which already included title’s from the likes of Strikeforce, K-1 and DREAM.
Unfortunately for Overeem, his title hopes were dashed when he suffered a second round TKO loss to Alexander Volkov last month, and though he had hinted that he may keep fighting and was still ranked No.7 in the division, the UFC apparently decided it was time to part ways with him.
It will be interesting to see what Overeem does now. Truth be told, retirement does seem like a sensible option as he has been fighting for more than two decades and has taken an alarming amount of punishment during that time – including suffering no less than 15 KO’s and TKO’s in MMA alone, including 8 during his long UFC run.
Nevertheless, he is still one of the heavyweight division’s biggest ever stars and as such there will always be other promotions eager to welcome him into the fold.
Meanwhile, former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos is also joining him in having been shown the exit, bringing an end to a 12-year campaign in the UFC.
Like Overeem, JDS is a big name in the sport, but despite having won the belt back in 2011 and having also fought again for the title on two separate occasions, his many wars in the Octagon appeared to be catching up with him over the past couple of years, suffering four losses in a row.
Not only that, but the defeats to Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and most recently Ciryl Gane had all come by way of strikes, suggesting that his chin is no longer what it once was.
Still, the 37-year-old was No.12 in the rankings before being cut and had been brushing aside calls to retire and so there’s every chance that he could now look to move on to a new challenge in the sport, and there’s no question that he will also be very much in-demand by other leading organizations.