Jose Aldo surprised many people when he told UFC he wasn’t interested in headlining the upcoming UFC Fortaleza card on Feb. 2, 2019. And now we imagine he’ll surprise even more with his latest admission that he’s no longer interested in fighting for a UFC title. As recently as July 2018, Aldo was making demands regarding another shot at his former featherweight belt. Now? He told Portal do Vale Tudo he just wants to fight out his contract.
“If I fight for the title and win, my contract pretty much gets renewed on its own,” Aldo said (translation via Bloody Elbow). “Then Dede (Pederneiras) will have to step in and negotiate, which is exactly what I don’t want to happen, I don’t want to be stuck.”
“My goal is to fight in Fortaleza, then in May and then end it here (in Rio de Janeiro), because I know there’ll be another card here, and they know that,” Aldo continued. “There’s no reason for them to give me a title shot. But make no mistake, I’ll make it hard for everyone who steps in front of me, I’ll win all three fights.”
Aldo sounds suspiciously like someone who wants to test the waters of free agency, but that’s apparently not the case. Earlier in the interview, the strong contender for 145 pound GOAT claimed retirement was the big thing on his mind.
“I want to stop and not spend my money getting my health back,” he said. “Today, I’m spending my money to be healthy. I want to feel well, I want to enjoy seeing my daughter grow, travel with my family, smile, play, I don’t want to fight into my forties and performing badly like I see so many of our great idols do. I programmed my entire life to be financially stable so I could stop whenever I felt like it.”
It’s hard to keep up with Aldo’s shifting desires sometimes. There was a period where he was clearly sick of the UFC and their treatment of him. There was much talk of leaving and competing in different organizations and combat sports. But now there’s a new calm. Jose is done fighting with the promotion, asking just that he gets to finish things out in front of his home country of Brazil. What will happen after those final three fights in 2019? Maybe retirement. Maybe not. But Aldo wants to make sure he’s 100% free to do whatever he wants.