The UFC has released multi-title MMA champ Alistair Overeem from contract less than one month after his latest knockout loss in the octagon.
Multiple people with knowledge of Overeem’s release confirmed the news to MMA Fighting after an initial report from TSN Sports, which added the former K-1, Strikeforce and DREAM champ’s name to a short heavyweight list that included ex-champ Junior Dos Santos. Overeem was recently removed from the UFC rankings, where he stood at No. 7, indicating a change in contract status.
Overeem’s UFC tenure, which started amid a court battle with his former management company, comes to an end after nearly a decade of fights in which he earned a 12-8 record. A breakout star and perennial heavyweight contender, Overeem several times turned back the clock despite repeated knockout losses. His most recent one, against ex-Bellator champ Alexander Volkov at UFC Vegas 18, came after a pair of wins in bouts against Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai.
A kickboxing expert and guillotine specialist, Overeem, 40, adjusted his tactics to use the full range of his skills rather than stand and slug it out with every foe. Were it not for a last-second punch, he would have taken home a decision over top-ranked heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruik in December 2019. All of his UFC losses came by way of TKO or KO.
In recent months, the UFC has released dozens of fighters with UFC President Dana White confirming as many as 60 fighters on the chopping block. A high-priced talent due to starting point as a high-profile acquisition and headliner, Overeem’s prospects for release increased with time and losses.
Despite his setback against Volkov, Overeem indicated afterward that he would continue to fight on after resting his body. His next move is now a question mark.
One option, Bellator MMA, appears off the table for now with president Scott Coker – his former promoter in the now-defunct Strikeforce – interested in maintaining the current roster of fighters, he told MMA Fighting.