Ranked UFC featherweight Movsar Evloev has suggested that José Aldo used PEDs during his prime and has USADA to blame for his downfall in MMA.
Since the USADA program was introduced to the UFC in July 2015, Aldo has gone 4-6 in the promotion. A defeat to Conor McGregor in the same year represented his first defeat since 2005. Consecutive losses to Max Holloway and a defeat to Alexander Volkanovski showed that “Junior” wasn’t the fighter he once was.
Before his record-breaking knockout loss to McGregor, Aldo had built a 25-1 professional record, defended the UFC featherweight Championship seven times, and accumulated an 18-fight winning streak that spanned a decade.
But despite Aldo’s incredible success in the sport and his run as 145-pound champ, Evloev isn’t convinced of his credentials as the greatest featherweight of all time. During an interview with RT Sport MMA, Evloev explained why he struggles to class the Brazilian as “great” with some heavy accusations.
“Without a doubt, Aldo was a great champion, but I am not sure how accurate it would be to say that (he’s the featherweight GOAT). It’s either him just getting told or, as I believe, his downfall began just after they started testing for doping. That’s the reason it’s hard for me to call him a great fighter. If he was juicing when he was in his prime, then it diminishes his achievements quite a bit—in terms of the featherweight GOAT conversation.”
When asked if he thought the Brazilian’s decline since 2015 was down to his age, Evloev noted that many fighters much older than Aldo still find success in MMA.
“No. There are some fighters who are older than him, but they still show good results.”
Having eliminated Aldo from the discussion, the 27-year-old Russian revealed he believes the current 145-pound champ has the greatest claim to the featherweight GOAT title.
“Taking into account how strict doping control is now, Volkanovski has been doing really great. 12-13 wins a row. Yes, he’s had some really close fights, some controversial decisions, at first sight, at least. But nevertheless, it’s really hard to stay on that level, and it’s hard to stay hungry from fight to fight.”
Despite Evloev’s claims, Aldo is still picking up victories in the UFC and returned to the win column last time out against Marlon Vera at UFC Vegas 17. His decision win against “Chito” snapped his three-fight losing skid and represented his first success in the Octagon since he defeated Renato Moicano in 2019.
Having lost to two top bantamweights in Marlon Moraes and Petr Yan after making the switch to 135 pounds, Aldo will be looking to secure his first victory over a top 10 opponent in the division at the third time of asking.
In the UFC 265 co-main event tonight, “Junior” will face his compatriot Pedro Munhoz. Their bout became the penultimate fight of the event after the cancelation of Amanda Nunes’ title defense against Julianna Peña. Aldo’s return to action will be followed by an interim heavyweight title clash between Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane.
Do you agree with Movsar Evloev? Or do you think José Aldo is the featherweight GOAT?