This weekend, Jose Aldo will step into the cage for the 38th time. At the age of 35, Aldo has fought the whos who of the 145-pound rankings and done very well. On Saturday evening, the Brazilian will face off against the number four bantamweight, Rob Font in the UFC Vegas 44 main event.
After staking a claim as the featherweight GOAT, Aldo decided to drop to 135-pounds in 2019.
The former WEC and UFC featherweight champion is 2-2 in the bantamweight division and currently ranked at number five.
Jose Aldo is the Featherweight GOAT
Let’s take a look back at a perennial contender and champion’s time at featherweight and why he truly deserves to be considered the best at that weight class of all time.
In 2008, after going 10-1, Aldo made his United States debut at WEC 34. And just five fights later he would fight in a title eliminator bout against Cub Swanson.
The fight lasted just 8-seconds and would be turned into one of his biggest highlight-reel knockouts.
Aldo would go on to fight Mike Brown for the featherweight championship at WEC 44 in 2009.
He once again would earn Knockout of the Night honors and the title around his waist, with an epic second-round victory.
Following that bout, he would go on to defend twice against Urijah Faber and Manvel Gamburyan before the promotion was bought by the UFC.
After the acquisition, Aldo was promoted to UFC featherweight champion.
UFC Championship Run
In 2011 at UFC 129, Aldo would make his first UFC title defense against Mark Hominick. After dominating the majority of the fight, Hominick turned up the pace in the late rounds, but the champ was still able to earn a unanimous decision and leave a lasting mark on the head of Hominick.
Aldo would go on to defend the 145-pound title an impressive six times. The featherweight division was considered the top of the crop at the time. He beat Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes twice, Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung and Ricardo Lamas on that six-fight run.
The Nova Uniao product was unbeaten from 2006 until 2015 when he met his match — Conor McGregor.
Much like his claim to fame, his drop from the top came in just 13-seconds. McGregor was in Aldo’s head before the fight, and the Brazilian came out much more aggressive and overextended on a punch, that ‘Notorious’ capitalized on.
After losing to McGregor, it seems Aldo has never been the same. We have seen him have some epic performances, such as the fight after McGregor, he absolutely dominated Frankie Edgar. But he is 5-5 since the loss to the Irish bad boy.
Aldo earned the UFC Vegas 44 main event status by winning two in a row against Marlon Vera and Pedro Munhoz, both by unanimous decision.
In an interview leading up to the fight with Font, Aldo stated that he is looking ahead — to a potential T.J. Dillashaw fight. “It might happen,” Aldo told MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca. “The fact Sterling is injured and we don’t know when he’s coming back, that [Dillashaw fight] could indeed happen in the future. Dillashaw and I, I don’t know if right now or in the near future, we want this fight. It’s a great fight for both of us, the UFC and the fans, so we’d all agree. I don’t know if it could be on the same card [of Sterling-Yan]. If it is, I’ll be ready. My history is rich, so is his, and we need to make this fight.”
Regardless of the outcome at UFC Vegas 44, with a current record of 30-7 and the resume he holds, it is undeniable that Jose Aldo is the featherweight GOAT.