In terms of the championship chapter of his career, many argued that heading into UFC on FOX 30, Jose Aldo was in a must win situation. But, according to the legendary fighter, his emotional reaction to his recent win had nothing to do about pressure.
Since Aldo was coming off consecutive losses to featherweight champ, Max Holloway, and because he had lost three of his last four fights, the argument was made that the star had to get by Jeremy Stephens. Although Aldo is only 31, he has repeatedly said that he plans to retire when his current contract is done. A defeat at the hands of Stephens would have almost certainly removed Aldo from the title shot mix.
But, as you know, Aldo went out and finished Stephens in the opening round. As soon as the bout was called, Aldo erupted into an emotional celebration.
Recently Aldo spoke with the media in Brazil, and while discussing his reaction to the key victory, the former champ said this (quotes via MMA Fighting):
I think there was pressure. We were coming off two losses, and we were fighting to win. I didn’t care how the fight would be, I only wanted the victory. The emotion was because of some personal factors we have in our heads, but, man, I was really well-trained and focused. We knew that the result would come and it would be now.
That’s not a pressure from the media, from fans, nothing. I think I have made my history, can’t erase that. I already have a name, a legacy. I think it was something from within, from my family, people close to me that knows what I went through in there. I think this victory brought a comfort not only for myself, but for them. That’s what I wanted. I wanted to win. It was my daughter’s birthday right after and I gave her this present. I think the emotion was complete because of that.
Even if you’re not an Aldo booster, you have to admit it was a pretty memorable moment, watching him and his team celebrate the win. Former foe Conor McGregor relayed recently that he was “very happy” for Aldo.
Now it will be interesting to see what comes next for the star. There has been talk as to whether the UFC might look at having Aldo fight Brian Ortega for an interim belt, if Holloway’s unable to fight anytime soon.