UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He has defended his 145-pound title seven times and is the only fighter ever to hold the UFC featherweight crown.
He hasn’t tasted defeated in over a decade, and the 29-year-old doesn’t want to be fighting a decade from now. For the Brazilian from humble beginnings, fighting was his avenue to a better life.
“I wouldn’t say I think about retirement. I think about financial stability. When I have it, I will stop. I don’t care if I’m at the top or not, I don’t care. I don’t want to fight until I’m 40. I don’t even know if I’ll get to 35,” Aldo said during a recent media scrum interview in Rio de Janeiro.
While fighting is Aldo’s job and how he generates revenue to pay his bills and secure his future, he still wants to leave a lasting legacy as a mixed martial artist.
“What I want is to leave this sport as champion. I want to be the only featherweight champion. That’s when I’ll leave the sport. Tomorrow, when I’m not here, you will always wonder who would beat me when I’m not around anymore,” he said.
Aldo wants to exit the sport the same way former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre did, in his prime and still the titleholder.
“That’s what I want. Just like when Georges left. The division is still wide open, no one was able to dominate it, and everyone remembers him. That’s how I want to leave the sport,” said the champion.
Aldo puts his belt on the line for the eighth time at UFC 194 on Dec. 14 against interim champion Conor McGregor in a title unification bout. The event takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.