Earlier this week, UFC fans were caught off guard when two legends of the sport were released from the promotion. On Wednesday, former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem were released by the UFC.
Overeem, a former UFC heavyweight title challenger, previously won the Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight titles, as well as the K-1 kickboxing World Grand Prix. He suffered a knockout loss to Alexander Volkov in February in his most recent bout. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak.
Dos Santos, a former UFC heavyweight champion, lost his fourth straight fight in December when he was defeated via TKO by Ciryl Gane.
BKFC wants Dos Santos and Overeem
After Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem were released, many wondered what would be next for them. Well, if David Feldman, the president of BKFC had his way, they both would sign with the sans gloves promotion.
“Yes, we are interested in both Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem. We have already made contact with them and their teams. Let’s see what happens,” Feldman said over text message to BJPENN.com.
Dos Santos (21-9 MMA, 15-8 UFC) made his promotional debut at UFC 90 in October 2008. He made a statement immediately when he put away Fabricio Werdum with strikes in 80 seconds. The victory kicked off a nine-fight winning streak by “Cigano.” Included on that run were two title fights.
Dos Santos finished Cain Velasquez with punches in 64 seconds to become the UFC heavyweight champion. He would follow up that performance with a second-round TKO win over Frank Mir at UFC 146 in May 2012.
Dos Santos lost the belt to Velasquez via unanimous decision in a December 2012 rematch at UFC 155. Following a win over Mark Hunt in May 2013, Dos Santos got his trilogy opportunity but was defeated by Velasquez via TKO at UFC 166 in October 2013.
Overeem (47-19 MMA, 13-8 UFC) entered the UFC already an established MMA star who competed in numerous notable promotions including Strikeforce, PRIDE, and DREAM.
In December 2011, Overeem made his promotional debut at UFC 141 and finished Brock Lesnar with a body kick and punches. Over his next four fights, he went 1-3 with TKO losses to Antonio Silva, Travis Browne, and Ben Rothwell. Overeem turned around his bad luck, however, and rattled off a four-fight winning streak with victories over Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson, Junior Dos Santos, and Andrei Arlovski.
Both Alistair and Dos Santos had their ups and downs in their career but still always, managed to be among the top heavyweights of their time.
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