Former WEC and UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has retired after his 20th fight in the UFC and 18th consecutive year competing in mixed martial arts.
The 36-year-old reportedly cut a deal with the UFC to cancel his current contract, which had one fight remaining, and exit the promotion prematurely.
Aldo retired just days after longtime Nova União coach Andre Pederneiras advised ‘Scarface’ to hang up the gloves following his UFC 278 defeat to Merab Dvalishvili.
Aldo is widely considered one of the greatest featherweight champions in WEC and UFC history, having defended his title(s) nine times during his unprecedented six-year reign as champion.
On social media, the MMA community reacted to his retirement, with ex-featherweight rival Max Holloway hailing him ‘The King of RIO’.
Check out the reactions below.
Wish nothing but the best to the Featherweight Goat @josealdojunior— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) September 18, 2022
The King of RIO! What a career brother! Go enjoy retirement brother. Eat some açaí with cashew and powder milk for me @josealdojunior— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) September 18, 2022
I always wonder what could've been. I spent a whole camp training to fight Jose Aldo in Brazil, but COVID changed everything. I was looking forward to the challenge & crazy atmosphere.— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) September 18, 2022
Happy retirement to one of the greatest featherweights in MMA history @josealdojunior pic.twitter.com/I4fHHLBMgc
Jose Aldo has been removed from the UFC fan rankings pool.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) September 18, 2022
The most recent news on Aldo was that his coach felt he should retire, but thought he may want to fight out his contract with one last fight in Rio at UFC 283.
If it's true that he retired.@josealdojunior you're one of my favorite fighters and an absolute legend. Enjoy retirement, thank you for all the memorable moments— Adrian Yañez (@yanezmma) September 18, 2022
Happy retirement to Jose Aldo one my favorite fighters growing up— Terrance ‘T Wrecks’ McKinney (@twrecks155) September 18, 2022
I’m so glad I got to see one of his fights and walkouts live. One of the GOATS of MMA. What a career. https://t.co/1kiQVdduEw— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) September 18, 2022
One of the best to ever do it. Put the featherweight division on the map https://t.co/VDOak2nX9s— Mads Burnell (@Burnellmma) September 18, 2022
23-year-old José Aldo. A deadly combo of speed and skills far ahead of his time. The featherweight GOAT and one of the greatest fighters MMA has ever seen. NINE title defenses, not seven. Mark that down in his HOF induction. @josealdojunior pic.twitter.com/Jsv9U9w5oj— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) September 18, 2022
Aldo calling it a career with the UFC means the MMA veteran is free to explore options in boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu if he so desires.