Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who turns 37 in January, has lost three straight fights — all by way of knockout — and faces yet another dangerous heavyweight in the form of Ciryl Gane at UFC 256 this weekend in Las Vegas.
With promotion president Dana White promising another round of roster cuts to close out the year, “Cigano” understands that a fourth consecutive loss could result in a pink slip. Just don’t expect the Brazilian to lose much sleep over it while prepping for “Bon Gamin.”
“I can’t deny that we think about it if they are releasing all these guys, maybe we can be one of them but I don’t really know,” Dos Santos told TSN (transcribed by Cole Shelton). “I’m not worried about that, I’m not thinking about that right now because in the UFC you have no options. We are employees and we need to do our best to keep working. They can release you anytime they want. I don’t really stop to think about that.”
Dos Santos (21-8) made his debut with a thunderous knockout over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90 way back in 2008 and has been in or around the Top 5 for more than a decade. But like Werdum before him, Father Time catches up to all athletes.
Unfortunately for “Cigano” (and many other fighters), Bellator MMA is no longer serving as the UFC retirement home. But none of that really matters if Dos Santos can lay down the hammer this weekend in “Sin City” and prove he belongs among the division’s elite.