Two staples from the UFC heavyweight division are no longer on the list.
Former UFC Junior heavyweight champion Dos Santos and eternal suitor Alistair Overeem have parted ways with the promotion.
A person familiar with the situation has confirmed the promotional departures of the two heavyweights following their removal from the UFC rankings on Wednesday, but requested to remain anonymous as the promotion has not officially announced the moves.
UFC officials did not respond to MMA Junkie’s request for comment.
Dos Santos (21-9 MMA, 15-8 UFC) made his promotional debut at UFC 90 in October 2008. He made a statement immediately by sidelining Fabricio Werdum with strikes in 80 seconds. The victory kicked off a nine-game winning streak by “Cigano”.
This race included two title fights: a decisive performance and a title defense. In November 2011, at UFC on FOX 1, Dos Santos finished Cain Velasquez with punches in 64 seconds to become the UFC heavyweight champion. He would follow that performance with a second-round TKO victory over Frank Mir at UFC 146 in May 2012.
Dos Santos lost the belt to Velasquez by unanimous decision in a December 2012 rematch at UFC 155. After a victory over Mark Hunt in May 2013, Dos Santos had the trilogy opportunity but was defeated by Velasquez via TKO at UFC 166 in October 2013.
Over the next seven plus years, Dos Santos remained a heavyweight contender. From 2018 to 2019, Dos Santos even established a three-game winning streak with wins over Blagoi Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis.
Dos Santos followed the streak with a skid of four lost fights. Prior to leaving the UFC, Dos Santos was ended with strikes in four consecutive fights – losses to Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane.
Overeem (47-19 MMA, 13-8 UFC) entered the UFC already an established MMA star who has participated in many notable promotions including Strikeforce, PRIDE and DREAM.
In December 2011, Overeem made his promotional debut at UFC 141 and finished Brock Lesnar with a kick and punches. In his next four fights, Overeem went 1-3 with TKO losses to Antonio Silva, Travis Browne and Ben Rothwell.
Overeem got around his bad luck, however, and landed a four-game winning streak with wins over Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson, Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski.
In his next 11 fights leading up to his exit from the UFC, Overeem would have some ups and downs. Prior to his departure, Overeem won back-to-back fights against Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai before finishing off Alexander Volkov’s punches at UFC Fight Night 184 on February 6.