UFC announced that former WEC and UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Modern Wing’ as a member of the Class of 2023. The 2023 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place during the 11th Annual UFC International Fight Week this summer in Las Vegas and will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS.
“Jose Aldo is the greatest featherweight of all time,” UFC President Dana White said. “From WEC to UFC, Jose helped us build the sport of MMA and UFC as a brand, as well as change the perception of the smaller weight classes and what they could accomplish inside the Octagon. It will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”
Aldo will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as a member of the Modern Wing, joining others in this distinguished category, including Forrest Griffin (2013), BJ Penn (2015), Urijah Faber (2017), Ronda Rousey (2018), Michael Bisping (2019), Rashad Evans (2019), Georges St-Pierre (2020), Khabib Nurmagomedov (2022) and Daniel Cormier (2022). The “Modern Era” category includes athletes who turned pro on or after November 17, 2000 (when the first UFC event under the unified rules of MMA was held), are a minimum age of 35, or who have been retired for one year or more.
A veteran of 39 fights during his 18-year professional MMA career, Aldo compiled a record of 31-8 (24-7, UFC / WEC / PRIDE / Shooto Brazil), securing victories over UFC Hall of Famers Urijah Faber and Cub Swanson. He also scored wins over former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown, former Pancrase Korea lightweight tournament winner Chan Sung “The Korean Zombie” Jung, and former Shooto lightweight champion Alexandre Nogueira.
Aldo made his professional MMA debut on August 10, 2004, as part of EcoFight 1, knocking out his opponent via head kick in 18 seconds. He would win nine of his next 10 fights across nine MMA promotions, including Pancrase, Shooto Brazil and Jungle Fights, before joining WEC in 2008.
Jose made his U.S. debut on June 1, 2008, on the prelims of WEC 34: FABER vs. PULVER, which took place at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. He defeated former Shooto lightweight champion Alexandre Nogueira via TKO (punches) in the second round. Jose would win his next four WEC fights via knockout, earning him his first title shot against champion Mike Brown.
WEC 44: BROWN vs. ALDO took place on November 18, 2009, at The Pearl at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas and served as Aldo’s first headlining event as a professional mixed martial artist. Brown entered the main event as the undisputed WEC featherweight champion with a 22-4 record and a 10-fight winning streak over three years.
Aldo, who entered the match on an eight-fight winning streak of his own, used his speed, kicks, flying knees and takedown defense to control the fight until mounting and ending the bout two minutes into the second round to become the new WEC featherweight champion.
Jose would win his next nine fights, defending the title each time and pushing his winning streak to an impressive 17 over eight years. During his title reign, he would serve as the final WEC featherweight champion and become the inaugural UFC featherweight champion in 2010, as the organization was absorbed by Zuffa.
After losing the UFC featherweight championship to Conor McGregor at UFC 194, Aldo would bounce back and capture the interim UFC featherweight title by defeating former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 in 2016.
Over the next six years, Jose would continue fighting top contenders in the featherweight and bantamweight division, securing wins over up and coming fighters such as Rob Font, Marlon Vera, and Renato Moicano, as well as veteran Jeremy Stephens. He retired in September 2022 after a loss to top-ranked bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278.
Aldo enters the UFC Hall of Fame with an impressive resume that includes:
- Most wins in UFC / WEC featherweight history – 18
- Most title fight wins in UFC / WEC featherweight history – 11
- Most knockouts in UFC / WEC featherweight history – 11
- Most finishes in UFC / WEC featherweight history – 11
- Most consecutive wins in WEC history – 8
- Youngest champion in WEC history – 23 years old
- Highest takedown defense percentage in UFC / WEC featherweight history – 92.6%
- Tied for second-fastest knockout in UFC / WEC featherweight history – 0:08 seconds
- Tied for third-most knockdowns in UFC / WEC featherweight history – 9
Outside the Octagon, Aldo has been honored with numerous awards during his career, such as being acknowledged by Sherdog as Fighter of the Year (2009) and the Fighters Only World MMA Awards Fighter of the Year (2010). His 2014 fight against Chad Mendes was awarded Fight of the Year honors by ESPN, the World MMA Awards and MMA Junkie.
As one of the most popular combat sports athletes in Brazil, the film ‘Mais Forte que o Mundo – A Historia de Jose Aldo’ is a biographical movie that chronicles his life. In 2018, this film was nominated at the 46th International Emmy Awards or best TV Movie / Mini-Series.
A native of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, Aldo trained in capoeira, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and luta livre (submission wrestling), excelling in all three. A talented martial arts athlete, Jose holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and luta livre. Aldo captured the bronze medal in the 2001 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships and won gold in the 2003 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships and 2004 CBJJO World Cup. He currently resides in Rio with his wife, Vivianne, and two children.