Daniel Cormier could only heap praise on the now-retired Jose Aldo.
Aldo recently announced his retirement from the UFC just a couple of weeks after his unanimous decision defeat to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278.
It marked the end of an illustrious career that saw Aldo not only reign as champion for almost a decade, but remain at the top well beyond his prime years.
That’s something that particularly stands out for Cormier.
“When you look at the amount of times that Jose Aldo held the championship from 2009 to 2017 — eight years is a long time,” Cormier said on his show. “UFC champion, WEC champion. … there aren’t many guys who come through this game that have done the things that Jose Aldo has done. But not only has he won, he’s won at the highest level and even at the very end, he still looked as if he could compete with the best in the world. And you don’t get that in many times when you have a longtime great like Jose Aldo was.
“I think the craziest thing is he’s like 35 now, so imagine how young he was when he was ruling the world. What, 13 years ago? He was like a 23-year-old kid.”
It’s not only Aldo’s legacy that should be revered, but his skill as well.
Aldo, for many, is arguably the most talented fighter to compete in mixed martial arts as he was more than adept at virtually every facet of mixed martial arts.
His skillset is one of the reasons he was able to remain competitive even at this stage of his career.
“… The ability to defend takedowns as an elite striker,” Cormier said. “He can really make you pay with those brutal leg kicks. And at the end of his career, developing a high-level boxing skillset not many people could deal with.
“Hats off to the king of Rio. He was one of those guys that even at the end, bro, and even seeing all the people that I’ve seen in my life as a broadcaster and fighter, every time I took a picture with Jose Aldo because I was still in a bit of awe of his greatness.
Daniel Cormier: Great Career But Jose Aldo Isn’t Done With Combat Sports
It should be noted that while Aldo retired from the UFC, that doesn’t mean he’s done with combat sports.
There’s always the option for Aldo to compete in other sports such as boxing where he can make some lucrative paydays that would be more than well-deserved.
Cormier certainly believes that’s the path for the Brazilian.
“So great career, but I don’t think we’re going to see him done with combat sports. I think he’s just done with mixed martial arts,” Cormier added.
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