Former undisputed UFC heavyweight champion, Junior ‘Cigano’ dos Santos has claimed that the promotion threatened to boot him from the organization, if he refused to fight his last two opponents, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and current interim heavyweight champion, Ciryl Gane.
dos Santos, a former undisputed heavyweight champion under the organization’s banner, was released from the UFC back in March of this year following a December knockout loss to the aforenoted interim titleholder, Gane, in tandem with past-foe, decorated Dutch kickboxer, Alistair Overeem.
The Santa Catarina native debuted in the Octagon back in October 2008, earning a Knockout of the Night bonus against eventual heavyweight champion, compatriot, Fabricio Werdum.
dos Santos, a staple of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, ended his run in the UFC with a run of four consecutive knockout losses against current heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, perennial contender, Curtis Blaydes as well as the aforenoted, Rozenstruik and Gane.
According to the Brazilian veteran who spoke with MMA Fighting reporter Guilherme Cruz on the Trocacao Franca podcast, claimed that the promotion was “really unprofessional” with their treatment of him.
“They (the UFC) were really unprofessional, let’s put it this way, with the way they treated [me], like they [treat] everybody else,” dos Santos said. “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.'”
“I was always a nice guy because that’s how I like to be, I like being nice to people so people are nice to me,” dos Santos explained. “I learned to be that way, in life, to never expect from others something I don’t give them. I was always a nice guy, treating everybody well, always smiling, and in a way, they took advantage of it, or treated it as a weakness, kind of putting me down, I don’t know. They tried to take the most advantage they could of the athlete I built, of Junior ‘Cigano’ especially the way the last fight was, something really odd.”
dos Santos explained how he’s done therapy to deal with his past in the promotion and is hoping to leave the situation in his past.
“But honestly, that’s in the past,” dos Santos said. “There’s nothing I can do, so I won’t carry that with me because, I like said, that’s in the past and it can’t leave the past. I’ve done a lot of therapy and learned to deal with that in a better way. We can’t resolve some things, so they’ll say that way and that’s the case with this [situation]. Let’s move on. This type of situation now with pro wrestling showed how much Junior ‘Cigano’ is beloved and how much Junior ‘Cigano’ can still perform.”
Over the course of his run in the UFC, dos Santos has beaten the likes of Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, Mark Hunt, Stipe Miocic, Derrick Lewis, and clinched the heavyweight title back in 2011 with a knockout over Cain Velasquez.
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