Jose Aldo has repeatedly said he intends to retire once his current deal with the UFC is up, but the legend clearly still view his place at the upper echelons of the sport.
The former featherweight champ is getting set to face Renato “Moicano” this Saturday at UFC Fortaleza, in what will be the third last bout on his contract. For some time, Aldo has said he will transition out of MMA when the deal is up, and more recently the Brazilian star relayed he wants to finish out the contract in 2019.
While that could very well happen, provided Aldo remains healthy, the chances of him completing his other dream, to retire as a champ, are slim. After all, Aldo has lost twice to the reigning champ Max Holloway, so barring an unforeseen turn of events, it’s hard to imagine the legend fighting for the 145 crown anytime soon.
Recently Aldo spoke with MMA Junkie, and while doing so, he had this to say about this subject:
“I get very sad about that, you know,” Aldo said. “I dreamed of retiring as a champion, if you see my previous interviews, I always talked about that, that I wanted to go out as a champion and enjoy life a bit. But it’s not what’s been happening. I think it’s very hard for them to match me up against Max for a third time, so this frustrates my plans a little, my desire of being champion and leaving as champion.
“But that’s part of it. Now we don’t have this possibility, we’ll see what happens in the future. But it’s one step at a time. The first step is to beat Renato and we’ll see what happens as the year goes by.”
So, while Aldo ending his MMA career as the champ isn’t likely, what’s clear is that he wants to go out at the top of the sport. In other words, it certainly sounds like Aldo wants to enhance his legacy further before it’s all said-and-done. Further, if he can defeat “Moicano” on Saturday, and if he Aldo defeats another top featherweight say this summer, things could get really interesting.
Here is the complete line-up for Saturday’s UFC Fortaleza card.
MAIN CARD (ESPN+/8 p.m. ET)
Bantamweight: Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes
Featherweight: Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano
Welterweight: Demian Maia vs. Lyman Good
Lightweight: Charles Oliveira vs. David Teymur
Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs. Justin Ledet
Strawweight: Livia Renata Souza vs. Sarah Frota
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+/5 p.m. ET)
Middleweight: Markus Perez vs. Anthony Hernandez
Welterweight: Thiago Alves vs. Max Griffin
Female Flyweight: Talia Santos vs. Mara Romero Borella
Heavyweight: Junior Albini vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Bantamweight: Ricardo Ramos vs. Said Nurmagomedov
Flyweight: Rogerio Bontorin vs. Magomed Bibulatov