First Bio-Pic Viewing Brings Former UFC Champion Jose Aldo to Tears in Brazil

By Marcelo Alonso Jun 13, 2016

“Stronger than the World,” the bio-pic chronicling the life and career of former Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo recently premiered in Brazil and included showings in Rio de Janeiro. Of the 12 local theaters screening the film, six were virtual sellouts, as journalists, MMA fighters and actors were all on hand, along with Aldo, his mother, Rocilene Soccoro Souza, and his wife, Viviane Oliveira.

Aldo admitted he cried the first time he saw the film.

“There’s no way not to cry,” he said. “It’s not only for me or fight fans. I think everybody will cry when they see the way story was told. It’s hard to describe the emotion of seeing the history of your life being shown to all your people. Soon, the UFC will bring it to American theaters. I thanked director Afonso Poyrat for all the care he took with the details.”

The film does not take a route most would expect, forgoing some of Aldo’s career as a mixed martial artist and choosing instead to focus on his life story. It details his relationship with an alcoholic father who was his greatest hero at times and his biggest villain at others, the internal fight with his own demons, the time he spent cleaning toilets at the academy in order to train and the decision to shun powerful drug dealers when he moved into his own house in a slum. The movie also outlines the important roles Aldo’s wife and Nova Uniao trainer Andre Pederneiras played in helping him achieve his dreams.

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Critics who have not yet seen the movie may point to the fact that it concludes with Aldo winning the UFC featherweight championship and does not discuss his 13-second knockout loss to Conor McGregor -- a loss that ended his 18-fight winning streak. For those who complained about McGregor’s absence, Poyart did not discount the possibility of making a “Stronger than the World” sequel.

“When people come to see the movie, they’ll understand the most important part is Aldo’s relationship with his father,” Poyart said. “The movie doesn’t talk just about his wins; it talks a lot about defeat and how he was raised. My main goal was to show ordinary people an example of a Brazilian who came from Manaus and overcame many obstacles. One more defeat for this guy means nothing. Aldo is still pretty young. In the future, we can tell the rest of his story -- after he reclaims the UFC title. Actually, his history with McGregor deserves a film of its own. Who knows? Maybe we can continue the movie after Aldo gets revenge.”

Leonardo Fabri contributed to this story.

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