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Jose Aldo says he wouldn’t stay in the UFC even for Conor McGregor rematch

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jose Aldo wants to leave the UFC and the sport for good, and says that not even an offer to rematch Conor McGregor would change his mind.

Six months after losing his featherweight belt to "The Notorious" in December, Aldo got back inside the Octagon to rematch Frankie Edgar for the interim title at UFC 200. Almost three months have passed since his unanimous decision victory, and the Brazilian is now asking to be released from his contract.

In an interview with Brazilian sports channel SporTV on Monday, Aldo said that not even a call from UFC president Dana White saying that he would fight McGregor would convince him to not leave the promotion or retire from the sport.

"No. Not even that because that would be the right thing to happen," Aldo said. "This fight is the fight that should happen next in the featherweight division. I conquered that [right] ever since I entered the UFC. I saw other champions losing and fighting right away for the belt. That was the right thing.

"I didn’t fight for the belt. They made me fight for the interim title, I went there and won, and still have no definition whatsoever. To me, not even a fight with McGregor… It’s not about him being fighting now or not. I don’t care where he’s going. I want to follow my path. Today, the right is me getting released from the contract."

Asked if something could convince him to change his mind, "Scarface" said he just wants to part ways with the UFC, and guarantees that he wouldn’t sign with any other MMA promotion next.

"It’s hard for me. If there’s something good [the UFC can do] is release me," he said. "I don’t want to fight for other promotion. I’m at the level above. There’s no reason why leave the first division to fight at the second division when I’m well appreciated in the first division, it would mean taking a step back. I don’t want to fight for other promotion. I want to follow my way in a different sport, do new things. I’m a young guy, and I want to enjoy that side, too.

"A good thing would be if they release me without a fight. I’m not mad at the UFC or no one else. I like Dana, I have a special love for Lorenzo [Fertitta], a guy that always treated me well since I got to the UFC. If there’s something good from this, I hope they release me so I can follow my way and the UFC follows its way."

While Aldo battles the UFC, his archrival faces Eddie Alvarez for a chance to become the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously. McGregor and Alvarez are set to collide on Nov. 12 in New York for the lightweight gold, and Aldo says the Irishman is scared to meet him inside the Octagon.

"Everybody knows he’s scared to fight [me]," Aldo said. "He knows how dangerous I am for him for the fact that my last fight, everybody said that I had a safe performance and if I fight this way I don’t lose to anyone. I’ve seen him in press conferences saying that he would fight with Frankie Edgar but not against me. I think he’s scared."

With his future still up in the air, Aldo continues to make plans. As a man who once dreamed about becoming a soccer player before he got involved with martial arts as a young kid, the UFC legend mentioned working with soccer as one of his goals for the future. He admits that he might be too old to actually play soccer professionally, but could have a career as manager.

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