Tonight, there has been a massive shakeup in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. The promotion has moved forward with cutting two of the all time greats. This evening we learned following a report from MMA Junkie that the UFC has cut both Junior Dos Santos (21-9) as well as Alistair Overeem (47-19, 1 NC).
A couple of months ago, Dana White announced that the promotion would be letting go of some big names in 2021. However, it’s been relatively quiet for the last couple of months which made many of us think that the cuts were over.
However, the UFC has cut a former heavyweight champion and a former title challenger. Both, Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem were ranked inside the top 12 of the heavyweight division at the time of their release.
The decision to cut Overeem is an interesting one. Alistair Overeem was just in a main event a couple of weeks ago at UFC Vegas 18. Overeem was on this last leg of his career where he was searching to become a UFC heavyweight champion.
That is one of the few things that Overeem has not achieved in his career. The Demolition man had won two in a row leading into his main event against Alexander Volkov. Overeem was dominated which derailed his heavyweight title dreams. Now, it appears that the dream will never come to fruition.
Former UFC heavyweight champion and fan favorite gone
The decision to release former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos, made more sense than Overeem for the promotion. Despite JDS being one of the more popular fighters in the history of the division, Dos Santos has fallen on hard times.
The 37 year old has been knocked out in four consecutive fights. This four-fight losing streak followed a three-fight win streak which included a win over Derrick Lewis. After the Lewis win in 2019, it appeared that JDS had one more run towards UFC gold.
However, Francis Ngannou stopped that and then Dos Santos was knocked out three times in 2020 alone. According to reports, both heavyweights are still planning on competing. You can imagine that other promotions will be calling these two up sooner than later.