Dana White Defends Decision to Cut Ex-Champion

Dana White

Getty Dana White gives a speech during 2019 UFC Performance Institute Panel and UFC Fight Night Shenzhen Press Conference at UFC Performance Institute Shanghai on June 20, 2019 in Shanghai, China.

UFC president Dana White recently defended his decision to cut a former champion from the promotion.

Ex-heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was released from the UFC earlier this year after suffering his fourth consecutive TKO loss. After defeating Derrick Lewis by TKO in March 2019, “Cigano” was defeated by Francis Ngannou in June 2019, Curtis Blaydes in January 2020, Jairzinho Rozenstruik in August 2020 and Ciryl Gane in December 2020.

Gane was ultimately the last opponent dos Santos faced inside the Octagon as a few months after the Brazilian’s defeat, he was taken off the roster.

Junior dos Santos & Ciryl Gane

GettyJunior dos Santos (L) and Ciryl Gane fighting during UFC 256 in December 2020.

Cigano is currently a free agent and has expressed interest in continuing on as an MMA fighter in another promotion. Dos Santos also wants to box.

The former champion was recently featured on MMA Fighting’s “Trocacao Franca” podcast, and when asked about the ending of his UFC career, he called the promotion “unprofessional” and said he was threatened to take his last two fights against Gane and Rozenstruik.

“They were really unprofessional, let’s put it this way, with the way they treated [me], like they [treat] everybody else,” Dos Santos said via MMA Fighting. “I wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. The last two fights I got were on those terms, ‘You take it or you’re out.’”

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White & Cigano Haven’t Talked in Years, According to the Fighter

Jairzinho Rozenstruik & Junior dos Santos

GettyJairzinho Rozenstruik (R) punches Junior Dos Santos in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 252 event at UFC APEX on August 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In an interview with MMA Fighting in March 2021, he told the outlet that he hadn’t spoken to White in “years.” Dos Santos also said he found out from American Top Team owner Dan Lambert, not the UFC, that he was released from the promotion.

“The UFC didn’t even talk to me,” dos Santos said via the outlet. “For example, [UFC President] Dana White, I haven’t talked to him in years. Not to ask anything or know anything. They didn’t even talk to me. [UFC] texted Dan [Lambert] of American Top Team, and it got to me that their decision was to release me from my contract.”

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White Reacted to Dos Santos’ Recent Comments

The UFC president spoke with TSN this week and he reacted to Dos Santos’ recent comments about the promotion. White affirmed his position on cutting the 37-year-old Brazilian, pointing at Cigano’s losing streak and age, although incorrectly.

White also said that dos Santos can still sign with another promotion and “make crazy money.”

White said via BJPenn.com:

So Junior dos Santos said some stuff the other day that, you know, that he was upset and that I was all about money and the way that he left. Listen, how old is he? I mean he is in his forty’s now. He was on a four or five-fight losing streak and there comes a time and a day where I have to make a decision when a guy keeps losing and he’s at a certain age,” Dana White explained. “This just isn’t the place to be anymore. There are tons of other places where you can go fight and where you can make a lot of money. A lot of these guys, you know, once they’ve built and established their name here, move on to these other promotions and make crazy money. And, umm, good for them. That’s just how it works.

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