- Jose Aldo said the UFC offered him a farewell fight in Rio but he chose to stay retired
- The Brazilian opened up about how he was prompted to call it a career
Jose Aldo called it quits right after his unanimous decision loss to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278. The promotion is set to return to Brazil for UFC 283 and they wanted the former featherweight champ to make his final bow in front of his countrymen. However, Aldo insists that he’s already done.
Good offer but no
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Aldo revealed that he still has one fight in his deal and the UFC wants to include him at the UFC 283 card in Rio against an “easier opponent.” The 36-year-old admitted that it would be nice to end his career in his hometown but he has long been decided he’s career is over.
“We had this last fight [in the deal] and they said we could even choose an easier opponent, let’s put it this way, but no. To me, it was already decided,” Aldo divulged. “I’m sad because we could do that farewell in Rio, but I didn’t want to. If you say I have to complete the contract, I would choose the highest-ranked guy, the toughest one, to walk away and test myself because I know I still have what it takes to be at the highest level. But, no. I’m sad for the fans, for the media, everybody thought about this fight, saying goodbye in Rio, but not for me. That was my plan and I won’t walk back. I have a son now, Aldo III, so the idea of fighting doesn’t cross my mind.”
How it ended
Aldo further talked about how he realized that fighting is no longer his life. As per “Scarface,” he was “hopeful” that he could make another run for the title at bantamweight after winning his last three fights following the lost to Petr Yan at UFC 251.
However, Aldo said that at the time, he knew that if he doesn’t beat Dvalishvili, that could be it.
“I was in my last title run,” Aldo began. “I was hopeful and training well, at my best both physically and technically, and had the intention to become champion, but the moment [I saw] it would no longer be possible to become champion, that’s when I would stop. It was already expected for me, ‘Dede’ [Andre Pederneiras] and my wife. I knew that if the win didn’t come [against Dvalishvili], my career would end. And so it was.”
Prior to that, Aldo said the first time he contemplated retirement was after suffering back-to-back defeats upon dropping down to the 135-pound division, a move prompted by a loss to the eventual featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 237. However, his coach persuaded him to continue fighting and that’s when he began doing it “for others” instead of himself.
“For me, I already wanted to stop [before] this final run,” Aldo confessed. “I sat down with ‘Dede’ after the Petr [Yan] fight in Abu Dhabi, I wanted to stop. He always let time pass and then we would talk. I had a good age at that time, I could still do something else with my life other than continue fighting. But we came back. That’s why I changed my life completely, started training boxing at the Navy and that gave me a push, learning new things, working on a new diet. From that moment I started fighting for others instead of for myself.”
“I’m very competitive and every time I go in there I will always do my best and want to win, but I was [fighting] for others,” he continued. “I was coming with all I had to become champion but for others, not myself. I felt that before, to become champion at the highest level, but no name [would have convinced me].”
Aldo never reclaimed his throne his being on the wrong end of the historic title fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in 2015. Nevertheless, many still regarded him as one of the greatest fighters of all time.