Any feint hopes Jose Aldo had of becoming UFC champion again were effectively dashed last Saturday, as he dropped a rather uninspiring unanimous decision to the now undeniably top-level Alex Volkanovski at UFC 237 in Brazil. It marked his first ever defeat in a three-round featherweight bout.
The legendary former WEC and UFC featherweight king released a statement on his Instagram page lamenting the struggles he had generating consistent offense against the Australian.
“But I’ve never fought so badly in my life,” Aldo wrote (translated by MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz). “No excuses because that’s not who I am, but I know what I can do and I know my talent, and I can’t do that. Not taking the merits away from my opponent, he did his fight, but I’m upset with myself, and I transfer (all the blame) to myself.”
Aldo has stated that he intends for 2019 to be his last year with the UFC, and his next fight would be the last of his current contract. The UFC’s next appearance in Brazil will be November 16th and may serve as Aldo’s swan song after 11 unforgettable years between the WEC and UFC.
Prior to the Volkanovski loss, Aldo had scored TKO wins over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano, earning Performance of the Night honors on both occasions. His efforts against Volkanovski certainly were not anything resembling what we’d seen in his previous two wins, or for much of his legendary career. While he is all but out of the title picture, Volkanovski is now in prime position to parlay wins over Aldo and Chad Mendes into a title shot against current featherweight titleholder Max Holloway.