Former UFC champion Jose Aldo is retiring from mixed martial arts

Former UFC champion Jose Aldo is retiring from mixed martial arts

One of the greatest consensus fighters of all time has retired from mixed martial arts.

The “King of Rio” Jose Aldo recently informed the UFC of his plans to retire from fighting. MMA Junkie confirmed the news with a source close to the situation following an initial report on Sunday by Brazilian network Combate. Aldo, 36, had one fight under his UFC contract at the time of his retirement.

In recent weeks, there has been speculation about retirement. Aldo mentioned this to opponent Merab Dvalishvili after a unanimous decision loss at UFC 278 in August. The loss snapped a three-fight winning streak for Aldo.

Aldo walks away from MMA with a UFC record of 21-7 and one of the longest lists of honors in the promotions history. He is a former two-time featherweight champion, former interim champion and former WEC champion. The seven UFC featherweight title defenses rank first all-time. He is also a six-time performance bonus winner.

Known for his signature leg kicks and ‘Run This Town’, as well as legendary takedown defense and his ability to evolve with new waves of talent, Aldo leaves the sport as one of the sport’s most elite and respected fighters of his generation.

Born in Manaus, Brazil, Aldo began training in martial arts as a teenager, putting aside aspirations for a football career. At 17, he had his first MMA fight, a fight that started a seven-fight winning streak. In 2005, Aldo lost for the first time. It would be another decade before he entered this column again.

Three more wins gave Aldo a shot at the WEC. Five wins under the WEC banner earned him a title shot against then-champion Mike Brown, whom he finished in Round 2. He defended his title against Urijah Faber and Manny Gabourian before the UFC merger in 2011.

Featherweight was a new weight class for the UFC, so Aldo was adopted as the title holder. From April 2011 to October 2015, Aldo successfully defended his title seven times against the likes of Chad Mendes, Chan Sung Jung and Frankie Edgar among others.

All of this set up the biggest fight of his career, a fight against rising superstar and arch-nemesis Conor McGregor. After months of trash talking and a failed booking, Aldo was knocked out in 13 seconds – and a new champion was crowned.

Aldo won an interim title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 as McGregor stood cageside to look for the winner. However, the rematch would never happen as McGregor was forced to vacate the title.

The undisputed champion once again, Aldo lost the title to Max Holloway the next time around. The two rematched six months later, but the result was the same: a third-round TKO for Holloway.

Aldo then won fights with Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano, but a loss to Alexander Volkanovski prompted a drop in weight.

August 20, 2022. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Jose Aldo (red gloves) fights Merab Dvalishvili (blue gloves) during UFC 278 at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of hype surrounding his debut in the division against Marlon Moraes in December 2019. Aldo lost by controversial split decision, but in no way looked out of place against a recent title contender.

Despite two losses in as many outings, Aldo received a title shot against Petr Yan after Henry Cejudo retired and vacated the title. Yann finished Aldo with strikes in the 4th round.

Still, Aldo persisted. From December 2020 to December 2021, Aldo defeated Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font consecutively. This led to his UFC 278 loss to Dvalishvili on August 20.

This story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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