Junior dos Santos was not pleased with the events that led to his UFC release.
Dos Santos was recently released by the promotion earlier this month as the former heavyweight champion was riding a four-fight losing streak.
His most recent setback came in December when he suffered a second-round TKO defeat to Ciryl Gane. The Brazilian had complaints about the nature of the finish — with Gane appearing to illegally elbow him — which he has gone on record about many times.
But to make matters worse, he didn’t have adequate time to prepare for the fight either.
“Against Cyril Gane, it was like this.” Dos Santos said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via Middle Easy). “It was six weeks or something for it. I was in Brazil and I wasn’t really training and they offered me the fight, you’re gonna fight on December [12th] with Cyril Gane. I said, ‘okay I’ll fight him, but put the fight for January, please.’ Because I’ll have enough time to get prepared. Then they already told me that ‘no, we need you to do get this fight now because if you don’t get it, we were thinking about releasing you from the contract.'”
“I said, ‘man, you’re not giving me [any time]. It’s not an option. You’re not asking me. You’re saying that, I have to fight this day, even if I can or not.’ So then I said, yes, I went to the fight. I cannot complain. I was, I was ready. I trained good. I have a very good body memory. I got in shape very fast. I was ready, but it wasn’t the necessary time for a real fight, especially for a tough guy like him. Yeah, you know, so I went to the fight and it happened the way it happened.”
Before the fight with Gane took place, there were already concerns regarding the future of Dos Santos.
However, he was offered another short-notice fight after his setback against Gane. This time, however, he couldn’t abide by the UFC’s proposed timeline which ultimately led to his release.
“Before they released me, I was in a conversation with Hunter [Campbell] before the conversation with Hunter, they offered me to get the fight with [Marcin] Tybura on [March] 27th,” Dos Santos said. “I said, ‘man, it’s right now, I came from my concussion with Cyril Gane the same.’ I was coming from my concussion and I think, give me some time so then I can get prepared for the fight. I want to fight but not right now.
“So then they finally decide, to release [me]. You know what it sounds for me? It’s like dictatorship. You have to follow it, whatever they want, if you don’t, you go away and here I am. I went away.”
Despite how things ended, Dos Santos is happy to start a new chapter, though it’s not clear where he will head next.
“I’m very excited about this new chapter,” he added. “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.”
What do you make of Dos Santos’ comments?