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UFC legend Jose Aldo retires from MMA

Brazilian great Jose Aldo

 

Brazilian great Jose Aldo has retired from MMA after negotiating an early release from his UFC contract.

His final fight came last month when he lost a unanimous decision to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278.

He was due to have one more fight with the UFC, but he has decided to end his Octagon career now and walk away from the sport that he has dazzled in for the last 18 years, with the UFC announcing the news on Sunday.

‘The King of Rio calls it a career. Congratulations @JoseAldoJunior on a legendary run,’ the UFC tweeted.

Aldo’s glittering career started in 2004, and he quickly became a dominant force in the featherweight division.

He was promoted to UFC champion in that weight class in November 2010 and went on to make seven successful defences of his belt.

His five-year reign came to a dramatic end when he was beaten in just 13 seconds by Conor McGregor in December 2015 which was only his second loss in 27 professional fights at the time.

Aldo would go on to lose six of his next 12 bouts, including back-to-back defeats against Max Holloway in 2017.

He was also beaten by current featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski in 2019, and challenged for the vacant bantamweight title in 2020, but was stopped by Petr Yan in the final round.

The 36-year-old ends his career with a record of 31-8, and is likely to be remembered as one of finest mixed martial artists the UFC has ever seen.

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Former foes Holloway and Volkanovski have since paid tribute to Aldo following confirmation of his retirement.

Holloway tweeted: ‘The King of RIO! What a career brother! Go enjoy retirement brother. Eat some açaí with cashew and powder milk for me.’

‘Wish nothing but the best to the Featherweight Goat,’ Volkanovski added.

Whether Aldo steps away from all combat sports for good remains to be seen. He has been linked with potentially trying his hand at boxing in the past, and this could be an option for him now that he has left the UFC.

 

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