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Jose Aldo changes retirement plans, vows to fight until he’s 40

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Jose Aldo is slated to fight Marlon Moraes in a bantamweight fight at UFC 245.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jose Aldo has made another bold statement regarding his MMA future, announcing he’ll continue fighting for at least seven more years.

The former UFC featherweight king announced his retirement in Sept. 2016, but came back to the Octagon months later to challenge Max Holloway. On Jan. 2019, right after a win over Jeremy Stephens, Aldo said he would fight out of his contract this year and walk away from the sport.

Aldo quietly signed a new eight-bout deal with the UFC before his UFC 237 contest with Alexander Volkanovski, a fight he lost via unanimous decision. Now, ahead of his debut as a bantamweight in the Octagon, Aldo says he’s not slowing down any time soon.

“First of all, I want to fight until I’m 40,” Aldo said during a recent media day in Rio de Janeiro. “I’m 33 now, so I have seven more years ahead of me. I still dream about boxing, and that will happen really soon. Rest assured that it will happen. But I’ll fight for some more time. This is my first fight at bantamweight until I’m champion again.”

When asked about his constant changes of heart on the topic of retirement, Aldo doubled down on staying active for many years.

“It could be even more (than 40),” Aldo said. “First of all, I’ve never partied and drank throughout my career; I have a healthy body. What keeps me fighting is that over the years, when I didn’t want to do it anymore, I spoke with ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras), and he convinced me to do this experience at bantamweight. I had it in my mind that it would be difficult to make weight, to go on a diet, but it was the exact opposite.

“I’m feeling strong, training super well. I haven’t felt this way even when I was in the WEC. That makes me believe I have a lot more to give, and you can be sure that I will fight for many years.

“If I’m feeling super well, fast, stronger than ever, there’s no reason to stop now. I want to win the bantamweight title and make more history, and then think what’s next. But I don’t think about that now. My family and ‘Dede’ can answer that question.”

Watch the full media scrum below [Click on the CC button on the player for English translations or click here for full transcript].