MMA legend Jose Aldo has announced his retirement from the sport after getting a release from his UFC contract, the same day his son was born.
The 36-year-old is one of the greatest champions in UFC and WEC history, and is a virtual lock to earn his place in the Hall of Fame. His UFC exit is likely preparing him to try his hand at boxing, something he has been interested in for many years.
Aldo has been training with world champion boxing trainer Robert Garcia and battling former Olympian Lindolfo Delgado in recent months.
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The Brazilian made his professional MMA debut in August 2004 under the EcoFight banner – and started his career in style, claiming a head kick KO in just 18 seconds to demolish Mario Bigola.
After his first loss in late 2005, he would go undefeated for over a decade, winning 18 straight across multiple organizations.
He became the longtime World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champion and quickly took over the UFC following the merger between the two organizations in 2010.
He ultimately lost the title to 2015 Conor McGregor in a 13 second knockout, his first ever loss at featherweight. He won the belt again in 2016, but would lose it to Max Holloway in two losses in 2017.
He would go on to move up to bantamweight in 2019, where he also fought for the title in a loss to Petr Yan in 2020.
He retires with a 31-8 pro record and a host of records, including a record seven successful title defenses, the most in UFC featherweight history. The last loss for the two-time featherweight champion as well as the interim champion was against Merab Dvalishvili in August.
Perhaps the most iconic moment of his career came in 2012 in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, where he knocked out Chad Mendes in the last second of the first round and jumped into the crowd to celebrate with masses of fans. worshipers.
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