Former two-time UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo informed the fight promotion that’s he’s retiring from mixed martial arts competition. Brazilian news outlet Combate first reported the news on Sunday.
Aldo made his professional MMA debut in August 2004. He signed with World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) in 2008 with a 10-1 record. After five fights, all finishes, Aldo fought for the 145-pound championship. He defeated then-champion Mike Brown in November 2009 and head the title until December 2015.
“The King of Rio” was one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. The fight promotion purchased WEC in 2010 and Aldo was named the inaugural UFC featherweight champion. He successfully defended the belt seven times before losing to Conor McGregor.
Aldo would win back the featherweight title by defeating former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar for the vacant belt in 2016 to become a two-time champion. He was defeated by Max Holloway in his next outing. Holloway defeated Aldo a second time in the rematch.
Aldo changed weight classes in 2019 and fought Petr Yan for the vacant 135-pound title but was stopped late in the final round. He then strung together three consecutive wins and was perhaps one win away from earning another crack at the bantamweight belt.
His win streak came to an end at UFC 278 on Aug. 20 when he was defeated by Merab Dvalishvili by unanimous decision. Following the fight, Aldo told Dvalishvili that he was thinking about retirement.
The 36-year old hangs up his gloves after 18 years of competition with a career record of 31-8. He had one fight remaining on his contract, but was granted his release and is free to pursue other opportunities.