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Jose Aldo reveals how an emotional text from Dana White helped save his son’s life

UFC 189 World Championship Press Tour - Los Angeles
Dana White and Jose Aldo
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Jose Aldo had no idea, but asking for his UFC release to compete in boxing might have saved the life of Jose Aldo III.

Speaking on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca, the former UFC featherweight king revealed he texted company president Dana White to inform him of his desire to retire from MMA, but he hoped to get clearance to compete in other forms of combat sports, such as boxing, despite having a one bout left in his deal.

“A friend of mine was looking into some boxing things for me and said I needed to prepare a statement saying he could consult the UFC,” Aldo said. “I did that and texted Dana on Thursday, and Dana wrote me back thanking me for everything, saying the UFC was always open for me, the [Performance Institute] and everything I needed. He has great affection for me and my family, he was always very close to us.

“After that emotional message – it wasn’t a boss talking to his employee, it was two people that like each other –, I showed it to [my wife] Vivianne. She was still pregnant at the time and got emotional, her blood pressure went up and we had to go to the hospital. She [went back for some tests and] was admitted to the hospital on Friday. She had preeclampsia and [the blood pressure] went up after Dana’s message.”

The doctors couldn’t decide whether or not it was time to give birth to Aldo III since he was only in his 36th week of pregnancy. The doctor hoped to keep him in for two more weeks, but it wasn’t going to be possible – and it saved his son’s life.

“The actual birth was really crazy,” Aldo said. “It looked like everything would go wrong. He was born with a true knot [in his umbilical cord], and if we had waited two more weeks, I wouldn’t be at home with little Aldo here.”

“I will never stand against someone like that,” Aldo continued, referring to White. “Even unintentionally, he’s always helped me in my life. I get emotional talking about it. Not that I owe him my son’s life, but it was after his message that got Vivianne emotional, her blood pressure going up, and we taking her to the hospital. He was born with all odds against him, but thanks to Dana… God always puts good people in our lives to help us.”

Aldo III is a healthy young boy and his legendary father wants to enjoy retirement to be more present in his life – as well as his daughter Joana – after dedicating 18 years of his life to mixed martial arts.

“It was always a dream of mine to have a son,” Aldo said. “We got pregnant some time ago and lost it. I talked to [Vivianne] and told her to let it go because she suffered a lot with the [miscarriage]. But it came naturally now, as God wanted, and from that text to leave [the UFC] I got something back, life.”

Aldo said his manager Andre Pederneiras was approached by multiple combat sports organizations, from MMA to boxing to Karate Combat, but is still under contract with the UFC. He’s open to discussing options in the future, but returning to MMA is “highly unlikely” – especially since he’s still under contract with the UFC.

“I can compete in any organization in jiu-jitsu, boxing, anything. I’ll show the offer to the UFC and they will clear me,” Aldo said. “My contract is still valid, mainly because people talk badly about the UFC and they have to be cautious. I understand their side. I will never fight the UFC or anything like that, they made me who I am. If I’m famous and am who I am, that was because of the UFC. Thanks to my work, but together with the UFC. I still have a contract with the UFC and any fight I want to do, I’ll show it to them and they will clear it.”

The 35-year-old veteran is mostly interested in competing in professional boxing, working his way up towards a big bout instead of facing YouTubers, but not for too long.

“They can bring a truckload [of money] and I won’t fight MMA,” Aldo said of other MMA organizations. “I’ll only fight [MMA] if it’s in the UFC. If I decide to fight tomorrow, I’ll talk to Dana and it will be in the UFC, but I won’t fight anywhere else. They know that.”

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