UFC president Dana White explained why the world’s leading MMA promotion released veteran heavyweights Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem.
Late last year, White hinted that the UFC could release upwards of 60 fighters, and the cuts have been rolling in over the last few months since he made that statement. On Wednesday, news broke that dos Santos and Overeem had been taken out of the UFC top-15 heavyweight rankings, indicating a change in contractual status. Later that evening, both men would confirm that they were indeed cut by the UFC. Speaking to TMZ Sports ahead of Saturday’s UFC 259, White explained why the promotion decided to move on from JDS and Overeem.
“Nothing happened behind the scenes. They’re both great guys that have had incredible careers here. People get cut every week. Every week a show happens, people get cut. I think those two are pretty self-explanatory. It’s nothing negative, it’s just part of the sport. If you look up what they’ve done recently, you look at their age, you look at everything that’s going on, it’s pretty self-explanatory” White said.
“We’ve had a great run and loved Alistair and the same with Junior dos Santos. Alistair Overeem never said no to a fight. Never turned down a fight, never said no, would fight anybody. And Junior dos Santos is one of the nicest human beings in the sport, so nothing but amazing things to say about both guys.”
Although dos Santos and Overeem were still ranked in the top-15 at the time of being cut, White pointed to the pair’s recent run and their ages — the 37-year-old JDS has lost four straight by TKO, while the 40-year-old Overeem is coming off of a brutal TKO loss to Alexander Volkov — as the main factor behind both heavyweights being cut.
“Age gets us all, man,” White said. “We all get old, man. We cut people every week. People come, and people go.”
Do you think Dana White and the UFC made the right call releasing Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem? Where do you think the two legends will fight next?