Last Saturday, Jose Aldo’s goal when he entered the cage at UFC 278 couldn’t have been clearer. The former featherweight champion and bantamweight title contender has only one thing to do with his latest three-game winning streak: a return to UFC gold.
“When we first started, I told Dede (Pedeneras, Aldo’s coach) that I would be a champion at 35 and then I would retire,” Al Duo said in an interview in July. “That’s why I say I’m very close to retiring, even though I’ve said I’ll retire as a champion.”
Less than a month until his 36th birthday Time Now, after his unanimous decision loss to Merab Dvalishvili, his outright title hopes appeared to be dashed, and this may be the last time fans will see the Brazilian MMA legend in the Octagon figure. This must have been Devalishvili’s narrative after his victory. In a recent interview with MMA Hour, the Serra-Longo genius revealed that Aldo told him he had fought his “final fight” after their bout.
“When he’s down, I [go] to shake his hand and tell him, ‘Thank you so much for the fight’, I go Respect him, he was down, I tried to help him, he told me, he said, ‘It means this is my last game because it’s my last title fight,'” Dvalishvili said ( Transcript from MMA Fighting). “Then he said, ‘I think I’m done.’
“It was a very exciting time. That’s why I spoke to him. I said, ‘You’re amazing, you’ve done so much, you’ve got nothing to prove, you’re a legend – you’re a king. I’m a little sad. “
Aldo issues his own statement after loss, thanking those around him” All the love I’ve gotten along the way…” But the longtime Nova Uniao loyalist has yet to make any public comments about the future of his career.
If this is really the last time fans see Aldo in a cage, there’s no doubt he’s going to be one of the greatest featherweights of all time – maybe even pure Mixed Martial Arts Genius – Retired. If there’s one constant in the MMA world though, it’s that fighters often find it harder to leave the sport than they expected. Who knows? Probably just a few months later, Aldo will be eager to get back in the cage and play again.