When the UFC pulled the trigger on Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor for the UFC Lightweight Championship as the official main event for UFC 205, they apparently signed the Octagon retirement of arguably the greatest 145-pound fighter it has ever seen.
Jose Aldo noted after the Alvarez-McGregor news became public that he wanted out of his contract with the UFC, as he intends to retire after being given the run-around by UFC brass.
On Monday, the Brazilian MMA legend appeared on SporTV and finally elaborated on his desire to walk away from the sport.
When asked if he would change his mind and regain his interest and passion to fight inside the Octagon again if the company were to offer him the McGregor rematch he desired, Aldo claimed it would not.
“No. Not even that because that would be the right thing to happen,” Aldo said. “This fight is the fight that should happen next in the featherweight division. I conquered that [right] ever since I entered the UFC. I saw other champions losing and fighting right away for the belt. That was the right thing.
“I didn’t fight for the belt. They made me fight for the interim title, I went there and won, and still have no definition whatsoever. To me, not even a fight with McGregor… It’s not about him being fighting now or not. I don’t care where he’s going. I want to follow my path. Today, the right is me getting released from the contract.”
In another sign that he is serious about being done as an active professional MMA fighter, Aldo followed up by saying nothing will change his mind and that he’s not mad at the UFC or Dana White.
Aldo explained that he is still young, as he just turned 30 years old last month, and pointed out that he wants to enjoy his life outside of the cage and possibly conquer another field.
“It’s hard for me. If there’s something good [the UFC can do] is release me,” he said when asked if there’s anything the UFC could do to change his mind. “I don’t want to fight for other promotion. I’m at the level above. There’s no reason why leave the first division to fight at the second division when I’m well appreciated in the first division, it would mean taking a step back. I don’t want to fight for other promotion. I want to follow my way in a different sport, do new things. I’m a young guy, and I want to enjoy that side, too.
“A good thing would be if they release me without a fight. I’m not mad at the UFC or no one else. I like Dana, I have a special love for Lorenzo [Fertitta], a guy that always treated me well since I got to the UFC. If there’s something good from this, I hope they release me so I can follow my way and the UFC follows its way.”
Aldo went on to make the claim that McGregor is afraid to fight him, pointing out that the style he beat Frankie Edgar with at UFC 200 to become the interim UFC Featherweight Champion and earn the right to be the next to fight McGregor for the 145 pound title could beat anyone at 145 pounds.
“Everybody knows he’s scared to fight [me],” Aldo said. “He knows how dangerous I am for him for the fact that my last fight, everybody said that I had a safe performance and if I fight this way I don’t lose to anyone. I’ve seen him in press conferences saying that he would fight with Frankie Edgar but not against me. I think he’s scared.”