Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, was the biggest name in the featherweight division for nearly a decade, thanks to his reign of terror in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), one that continued on when “Junior” transitioned to the Octagon after the two promotions merged back in 2011.
But was he also the biggest name in Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA)?
“In Brazilian MMA, it’s possible. I think I can be considered the biggest today because everybody is stopping and others are coming up,” Aldo told MMA Fighting. “Today I think Aldo has the strongest name. Like I always said, I respect everybody, but this is the moment. Man, I’m happy for the love I receive, the millions of messages of love I receive. That motivates me to train hard and keep winning and going for the top.”
That distinction has long been held by former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, though Aldo believes a pair of failed drug tests — and “bad behavior” — hurt “The Spider’s” legacy and paved the way for “Junior,” who managed to keep himself out of the crosshairs of USADA (with a little help from the cops).
According to this Brazilian ex-champ, Aldo and Silva are actually one in the same.
Aldo went on to get knocked out by Conor McGregor and was unable to reclaim his crown in a pair of tough losses to Max Holloway, though he recently returned to the win column by folding Jeremy Stephens. Silva, meanwhile, was creamed by Chris Weidman and his career never recovered.
So ... who will history remember as the bigger Brazilian name?