UFC parts ways with former heavyweight champ, top contender

Two staples of the UFC’s heavyweight division are no longer on the roster.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos and perennial contender Alistair Overeem have parted ways with the promotion.

A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the two heavyweights’ promotional departures following their removal from the UFC rankings Wednesday but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has not officially announced the moves.

UFC officials did not reply to request for comment by MMA Junkie.

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: a clinching 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 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….

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