UFC great Jose Aldo retires from MMA after 'legendary run'

Brazilian, 36, is widely regarded the greatest featherweight in combat sports history

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Jose Aldo, considered one of the all-time greats in mixed martial arts, has announced his retirement from the sport.

The two-time UFC featherweight champion, 36, is said to have negotiated a release from his current contract with the promotion – the deal was understood to have one fight remaining – meaning he can now pursue other opportunities in combat sports. Brazilian outlet Combate were the first to report the news of Aldo’s retirement.

On Sunday, the UFC paid homage to Aldo in a tweet that read: “Congratulations @JoseAldoJunior on a legendary run.”

Aldo, 36, is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in combat sports history and the outright greatest featherweight. The Brazilian, known for a selection of highlight-reel knockouts, won 25 of his first 26 bouts in an 18-year professional career that eventually read 31 wins and eight defeats.

His final bout took place at UFC 278 last month, when he lost by unanimous decision to Merab Dvalishvili. Prior to that, Aldo had been on a three-fight win streak at bantamweight and was being tipped for another shot at a UFC belt.

Boasting the best CV at 145lbs in MMA history, Aldo first won the World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight crown in 2009 before moving to the UFC in 2011 as part of the company merger. He was immediately installed as the inaugural UFC featherweight champion before going on defend the belt seven successive times – still a promotional record.

Aldo’s remarkable run was ended famously by Conor McGregor in 13 seconds in December 2015. However, he later won the interim title and was then promoted to undisputed champion eight months later in the Irishman’s absence.

In 2020, Aldo competed for the vacant bantamweight crown, at UFC 251 during the inaugural Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, but lost by fifth-round TKO to Russia’s Petr Yan. In 18 straight wins from 2006-2014, Aldo defeated a list of lofty opponents, including Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar.

Updated: September 19, 2022, 6:13 AM
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