Former Ultimate Fighting Championship and World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight king Jose Aldo plans to hang up his gloves at the end of 2019, ending a hugely successful 15-year career.
Aldo is arguably the greatest featherweight in MMA history, having defended the featherweight belt on nine separate occasions -- two in the WEC and seven after the division was absorbed by the UFC. The 32-year-old Brazilian takes on featherweight contender Renato Carneiro in the co-main event of UFC Fortaleza in Brazil on Feb. 2.
Aldo revealed on Wednesday afternoon that he intends to fight the last three bouts on his current contract with the UFC in 2019 and is hopeful all three fights are staged in Brazil before hanging up his gloves for good (via MMA Fighting):
“I want to end my career here in Brazil. That’s what we have planned,” Aldo said. “I want to do these three fights… I’ll fight in Fortaleza now, and I’m already negotiating my next one for May, if I’m not mistaken in Curitiba, and then finish it in the second semester, which I know will have another event in Brazil.”
If Aldo defeats “Moicano” next month, he already has a potential opponent in mind for UFC 237, but Brazilian’s coach and manager, Andre Pederneiras of Nova Uniao, revealed that they haven’t had that discussion with UFC match makers yet.
“We asked them to complete Aldo’s contract fighting in Brazil so he could give the final three fights of his career to the Brazilian fans here,” Pederneiras said. “That’s his will, that’s what he asked Dana (White), and apparently that’s what’s going to happen.”
Aldo was questioned if he would accept a fight at the heavier lightweight division for UFC 237 and Pederneiras joked the fight “could be in any weight class, even at heavyweight.”
Given that Aldo is 0-2 against current featherweight champion Max Holloway, losing by third-round TKO in both fights, Pederneiras recognized that the promotion likely wouldn’t grant him a trilogy fight with the Hawaiian, but maintains Aldo wouldn’t accept one anyway. Aldo has a clause in his current contract for a renewed contract which would trigger if he were to win a title fight, something that doesn’t interest the Brazilian.
”There’s no reason to get here and aim for a title fight,” Aldo said, “But you can be sure that I’ll be a problem for whoever gets in front of me because I will win these three fights. You can be sure of this.”
Aldo said he has no intention to continue fighting past 2019, and looks forward to focusing on enjoying life with his family and looking at other potential business opportunities.
”I want to finish (my career) well and be healthy as well,” Aldo said. “One thing I said in my last fight is that I want to (retire) tomorrow and not use my money to buy my health back. Today I give away my health to make my money, so I won’t do that.
”I want to enjoy my daughter, my wife, be able to travel, without fighting until I’m 40,” Aldo added. “I see our great idols doing that and having bad performances… I always tell ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras), if one day I’m not in my rhythm in terms of performance, take me out of there because it’s not for me to be in there anymore. I don't want to fight for money. I’ve planned my entire life so I could stop (fighting) without any problem.”