Jose Aldo retires from mixed martial arts

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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 intention to call off the fights. MMA Junkie confirmed the news with a source familiar with the matter following an initial report Sunday from Brazilian outlet Combate. Aldo, 36, had one fight on his UFC contract when he retired.

In recent weeks, the retirement has been speculated. Aldo mentioned it to opponent Merab Dvalishvili after a unanimous decision loss at UFC 278 in August. The loss ended a three-game winning streak for Aldo.

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

Known for his leg kicks and “Run This Town” walkout, as well as his legendary takedown defense and ability to evolve with new waves of talent, Aldo leaves the sport as one of the most successful fighters. elitists and the most respected of his generation.

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

Three more wins gave Aldo an opportunity in the WEC. Five wins under the WEC banner earned him a title shot against then-champion Mike Brown, which he finished in the second round. He defended his title against Urijah Faber and Manny Gamburyan prior to the UFC merger in 2011.

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

It all set up the biggest fight of his career, a battle against rising superstar and nemesis Conor McGregor. After months of chatter and a failed booking, Aldo was knocked out in 13 seconds – and a new champion was crowned.

Aldo won an interim title over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, as McGregor stood cageside to toast the winner. The rematch would never take place, however, as McGregor was forced to relinquish the title.

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

Aldo went on to win back-to-back fights against Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano, but a loss to Alexander Volkanovski caused a bantamweight drop.

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 noise about his divisional debut against Marlon Moraes in December 2019. Aldo lost by controversial split decision but in no way looked out of place against a recent title challenger.

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

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


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