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Former UFC champion Jose Aldo retires after 18-year MMA career

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Jose Aldo celebrates after defeating Frankie Edgar during the UFC 200 Mixed Martial Arts World Championship fight on Saturday, July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Locher)
Jose Aldo ended his MMA career with a 31-8 record and faced almost every elite featherweight and bantamweight of his day. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Mixed martial arts athletes have evolved exponentially over the past 15 years, bringing the sport almost to its peak. What they were really doing at the time was catching up with Jose Aldo.

The former WEC and UFC featherweight champion, known as the “King of Rio” for his dominance of the sport for over a decade, is retiring after losing to Merab Dvalishvili last month on the main card of UFC 278 in Salt Lake City. The commander was the first to report this.

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Aldo, 36, retired with an overall record of 31-8 in MMA and 21-7 in WEC/UFC. Zuffa owned the WEC and the UFC when Aldo joined the WEC amidst much hype in 2007, and featherweight was not a weight class in the UFC.

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He won his first 15 fights in the promotion before being knocked out in 13 seconds by Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in 2015. McGregor’s trash talk months before the fight pissed off Aldo so much that when the fight started, Aldo lunged at McGregor and McGregor cut him off. with his counter hook to the chin.

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It was one of the few failures in Aldo’s career.

There was almost nothing Aldo couldn’t do as a fighter. His kicks were as intimidating and effective as any fighter in the history of MMA. In particular, at the peak of his career, his takedown defense was unassailable, and if the fight went to the ground, well, he was a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, who was a bronze medalist in his weight category at the 2001 World Jiu-Jitsu Championship of the year. .

Aldo was a great Muay Thai fighter with amazing arms, formidable elbows and a granite chin.

“If you look at how long this guy has been an absolute warrior, man, how long he’s been at the top of the game, it’s amazing,” UFC President Dana White told Sportzshala Sports. “He started in the WEC and then moved here and had an incredible career in the UFC. He helped build the sport. He helped build this organization, this brand. I love this guy, I have a lot of respect for him and I wish him the best in everything he does in the future.”

He was one of those guys who fought in the ring. With Aldo there was no chatter and no tricks. He was a stoic person outside the cage, but inside he was a beast.

Many of the biggest sports stars have become his fans. UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, now a broadcaster on ESPN, “obsessed” with Aldo.

According to Cormier, Aldo helped move the sport forward.

“Jose Aldo was an outstanding champion and one of the people who developed MMA,” Cormier told Sportzshala Sports. “He was one of those guys who was ahead of his time when he was a champion. Even before his last fight, I was always in awe of his greatness. He was that elite striker who couldn’t be beaten. He was on the next level.”

Aldo fought some of the greatest featherweights and bantamweights of all time. He fought Max Holloway, Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar twice and fought McGregor, Marlon Vera, Petr Yan, Urijah Faber, Cub Swanson, Renato Moicano, Ricardo Lamas, Pedro Munhoz, Chan Sung Yung, Mike Brown, Kenny Florian, Rob Font. and Merab Dvalishvili, among many others.

He was always fit and fought with furious intensity, often resulting in sensational fights.

He has won Fight of the Night four times, Knockout of the Night three times, and Performance of the Night two times.

His fight with Faber on April 24, 2010 at WEC 48 was one of the most important in the history of this promotion. He defended the featherweight title he had won against Brown in an earlier fight with a brilliant performance, highlighting Faber’s vicious kick to the leg. It was the first pay-per-view in WEC history.

Like UFC Hall of Famer Cormier, Faber was the face of the WEC, and Aldo’s win was a transition of sorts. This victory made Aldo the face of all the lightweight divisions in the sport.

“I have always considered Jose Aldo to be one of the best weight fighters on the planet,” Faber said. “His physique, all-round game and championship mentality made him one of a kind. I was lucky enough to compete with him for the title of world champion, share my gym with him in America and be a guest in his gym in Brazil. A real champion and a great person outside the cage! I’m excited to see what’s next for him, congratulations on a great career!”


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