Junior dos Santos Was Offered Short-Notice Fight Before UFC Release
Junior dos Santos claims he was offered a short-notice fight before being ousted from the UFC roster.
In early March, the UFC parted ways with dos Santos and Alistair Overeem. The news came as a surprise to many due to the name recognition of both men. The two fighters were also in the official top-15 UFC Heavyweight rankings.
UFC President Dana White had told reporters that the decision to release both dos Santos and Overeem was strictly business. The UFC boss also praised both fighters for being easy to work with.
The departure isn’t all rosy, however. During an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, dos Santos revealed that the UFC only released him when he declined a short-notice bout with Marcin Tybura in order to heal from a concussion.
“Before they released me, before the conversation with Hunter [Campbell], they offered for me to get the fight with Tybura. Right now, the 27th. I said, ‘man, it’s right now. I came from a concussion.’ With Ciryl Gane, the same. I was coming from a concussion and thinking, ‘give me some time,’ so then I can get prepared for the fight. I want the fight but not right now. So then they decided to release me.
“You know what it sounds to me? It’s like a dictatorship. You have to follow whatever they want. If you don’t, you go away. And here I am, I went away. Like I told you, I’m very excited about this new chapter. And the most important thing is I love what I do. I love to be who I am and I can’t wait to be fighting again.”
A former UFC Heavyweight Champion with 30 pro MMA bouts under his belt, dos Santos is beyond the point of paying dues. He’s already garnered interest from BKFC President David Feldman. Time will tell what dos Santos ultimately decides to do.