Long-time head coach, Andre Pederneiras, believes Jose Aldo could make another run at UFC gold, but the Nova Uniao leader would rather see “Junior” walk away from the sport before it’s too late.
Pederneiras, who has been Aldo’s coach for quite some time now, has seen the ups and downs of his career. From hoisting UFC featherweight gold to moving down to bantamweight in search of another title, the Nova Uniao head coach has been alongside Aldo every step of the way. This has provided Pederneiras with an inside look at Aldo’s immediate fighting future.
Coming off a decision loss to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 this past August it was rumored that Aldo may be stepping away from the sport once and for all. The former UFC champion had won three in a row prior to UFC 278, but his chances of fighting for another title drastically decreased after losing to Merab. Fight fans weren’t sure if it was the last time Aldo was going to step inside of the Octagon.
Pederneiras, who doesn’t believe Aldo should continue fighting, thinks there’s a good possibility the former UFC champion returns for one last title run. It will depend on a few factors, but the biggest one is Aldo’s motivation to keep training and competing at 36 years of age.
“I think it’s going to depend on lots of factors,” Pederneiras told Combate (via Bloody Elbow). “It depends on one last fight, a contract renewal, lots of things. I know he has the will to go for a new title run. I think Aldo has every chance to become champion at bantamweight and start a new title run. Now, will there will be motivation to keep doing that?”
Pederneiras, who has coached some of the best fighters to come out of Brazil over the past decade, would rather see Aldo step away from the sport before he suffers a serious injury so late into his career.
“I would tell him to quit,” he said. “I think Aldo has already conquered so much. It’s not going to be that last fight that is going to take away the legacy he has built in the sport. My biggest fear is when an athlete arrives at this final stage of their career and an injury might mess them up for the rest of their life.”
We’ve been down this road before with Aldo only to see the former UFC king make a return and look like a world beater again. This time may be different, but until Aldo actually utters the words “retire” fight fans can expect the Brazilian fighter to be in action.