Perennial flyweight contender Jussier Formiga has reacted publicly for the first time to his shock release from the UFC.

The Brazilian who has long been considered one of the very best at 125lbs is currently on a three-fight losing skid but has only lost to elite level competition. Just last year he picked up a win over Deiveson Figueiredo who is the current UFC flyweight champion.

In an interview with MMA Fighting, Formiga explained how he came to find out he was no longer a UFC fighter, he said.

“My manager said I was on the final stages of recovery, but wasn’t 100 percent ready to fight yet, and they said OK. They contacted my manager again last week and said they were going to cut 75 athletes, and I was one of them. What am I going to do? If they decided to cut me, there’s nothing I can do.”

Formiga is grateful for his time with the UFC despite never feeling truly valued by the promotion.

“I can’t complain; I can’t be ungrateful to the UFC,” Formiga said. “The UFC was great for me, even though I never felt truly valued in the UFC. But it was a great opportunity in my life, a good time. Everything in life has a beginning and an end.”

The 35-year-old was on the cusp of challenging for UFC gold on several occasions but never got his chance – something which adds to his feeling of being undervalued.  

“I think there were many opportunities I could have fought for the belt,” Formiga said. “I fought athletes that fought for the belt, I beat some, but I didn’t fight. It’s a bit confusing to think about it. The first time, I won three in a row and they said I needed one more before fighting for the belt, and I lost a split decision to [Henry] Cejudo in Mexico.

“When I won four in a row, they said they couldn’t create an interim belt because Cejudo had the undisputed [belt]. It’s complex to think that way. That’s why I say I didn’t feel completely valued in the UFC. And I was the only guy to beat the current champion [laughs]. They just don’t give a f*ck. If they wouldn’t value me, then I’ll find my value elsewhere. I’ll find out my true worth.”

Formiga is now considering his options and is open to moving up in weight to join Bellator who doesn’t have a flyweight division.

“Depending on the offer, if it’s something interesting, I’ll definitely think about it,” Formiga said. “Sergio Pettis, whom I beat in the UFC, is fighting at 135 there, so it’s not something out of this world. But it would have to be a great offer, for sure.”

Do you think Jussier Formiga was harshly treated by the UFC?