One of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport is reportedly retiring from mixed martial arts.
According to Brazilian MMA news organization Combate, Jose Aldo has reached a deal with the UFC that allows him to walk away from his current contract, which had one fight left. With “Scarface” released by the organization, he’s reportedly free to try his hand at other combat sports like boxing or grappling.
Aldo’s name was removed from the UFC rankings and roster earlier today, seemingly confirming this news. The move comes on the heels of a recent interview with Aldo’s longtime coach, Andre Pederneiras, who suggested he should consider retirement.
“I think Aldo has every chance to become champion at bantamweight and start a new title run,” Pederneiras told Combate. “Now, will there will be motivation to keep doing that? ... I would tell him to quit. 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.”
It’s a somewhat shocking and sudden end to an MMA career that spanned over eighteen years. Jose Aldo won his first professional fight back in August 2004, and was drafted into the WEC four years later where he quickly became the featherweight champion. When the WEC was folded into the UFC, Aldo remained the 145 pound champ, defending his belt in the two organizations a stunning nine times.
While he lost the featherweight title to Conor McGregor in 2015, Aldo would quickly regain it, beating Frankie Edgar for an interim belt that would later be promoted to the undisputed title. That reign would be much shorter, as Max Holloway took the title from him in 2017.
For many fighters, that would be the end of contendership. But Jose Aldo made the surprising decision to cut down to bantamweight, where he managed to hang at the top of the division with a new generation of sharks. Aldo would lose a 135 pound title shot in July 2020 to Petr Yan before going on a three fight winning streak.
A UFC 278 loss to Merab Dvalishvili seemingly ended Aldo’s quest for another title shot, and with it his interest in continuing to compete in the UFC. There were hopes from many fans that Aldo might wrap up his career at the upcoming UFC 283 event in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll get that closure.
Aldo ends his MMA career with a 31-8 record.