Jose Aldo almost left the sport in 2017.
The Nova Uniao fighter lost the UFC featherweight belt to Max Holloway last June, and got a chance to re-capture it six months later after Frankie Edgar was forced out of UFC 218. Aldo suffered another third-round TKO loss to Holloway in December, and strongly considered retirement.
”After the fight, I took some time for myself, to think and stay with my family,” Aldo told Combate. “Two weeks later, I met with my coaches, sat down with everyone. I asked what they thought, if it was time to stop or not. We decided to move forward. The next day I was in the gym.”
One of the greatest fighters of all time, Aldo (26-4) dominated the featherweight division in the UFC and WEC, defending his title nine times in those promotions, but was knocked out three times in his last four bouts, losing twice to Holloway and once to Conor McGregor.
Aldo is now scheduled to face Jeremy Stephens in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 30 in Calgary, Canada, on July 28, competing in a non-title bout for the first time since 2009. It’s unlikely that Aldo earns another shot at the belt with a win over Stephens, but he still believes he can become the UFC champion again.
”I think I still have much wood to burn, full capacity to go there and fight for the title again,” Aldo said. “I still have four fights left in the contract. I want to do at least three this year. I want to get to the third fighting for the title, be champion again. Then, in the future, I think about retiring or not.”