MMA legend “The King of Rio” and featherweight champion Jose Aldo (31-8, 17 KO, 1 SUB) has retired from professional MMA competition after 18 years as a fighter. On September 18th, 2022, following the birth of his son, it was announced by his manager to ESPN that he had been granted his request to be released. The 36-year-old’s last fight was back in August of this year at UFC 278 against Merab Dvalishvili. A bout which he lost by unanimous decision. Aldo is one of the greatest fighters of all time. He is also the best Featherweight in the history of the sport.
The announcement shocked fans as Aldo had seemed as though he could continue for a few more years. It is unknown if Jose Aldo will return to combat sports in any other capacity, like his contemporary Anderson Silva, who will be boxing Jake Paul next month in Phoenix.
Jose Aldo’s Legacy
Jose Aldo fought his first career MMA bout at just 17 years old in August of 2004 in Brazil. He won his first fight by KO in 16 seconds, starting what would be a legendary career. Aldo would hone his skills in independent Brazilian promotions suffering only one defeat before making his debut at Pancrase. This would be the last stepping stone before heading to WEC, a subsidiary of the UFC and Zuffa that featured the smaller weight classes in MMA.
Aldo started his WEC career white hot, finishing his first five fights by KO en route to his first title shot. His first title shot came against Mike Brown, who Aldo dispatched by TKO in the second round, beginning his first title reign. Aldo’s next bout would come against Uriah Faber. The bout would catapult Aldo into MMA stardom after a dominant performance. Jose would be promoted to UFC champion when the company officially brought the WEC fighters into their ranks in 2010. He would remain unbeaten in the UFC for five years. He suffered a memorable loss to Conor McGregor in 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December 2015.
The Brazilian would recapture the title in his next bout against Frankie Edgar at UFC 200. Though, he would lose it to Max Holloway eleven months later at UFC 212. This would be the start of a skid in his career, losing a few bouts before dropping down to bantamweight. He would go on to have success in the lower weight class. He challenged former champion Petr Yan for the title at UFC 251 but would suffer another TKO loss. The legend won three of his next four fights before retiring.
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