This past weekend, one of the sport’s greatest legends called time on their career inside the cage. Following his defeat to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 last month, which snapped a three-fight win streak and halted a late charge towards the bantamweight gold, Aldo had initially dismissed retirement claims.
But seemingly after taking some time to assess his future, “Junior” came to the conclusion that his time inside the Octagon is up. The UFC subsequently released Aldo from his contract, which had one fight remaining, with the agreement being that the 36-year-old would retire from the sport.
While the deal has brought an illustrious MMA career to an end — one that saw a legendary reign on the UFC’s featherweight throne — the promotion can’t prevent Aldo from competing in other sports, such as boxing.
With that in mind, many expect the former 145-pound king to become the latest prominent mixed martial artist to lace up the boxing gloves.
Cejudo Encourages “Legend” Aldo To Explore New Ventures
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, Cejudo gave his thoughts on Aldo’s decision to hang up his gloves, branding the Brazilian the featherweight GOAT and a sure-fire future UFC Hall of Famer.
“I thought it was cool. I made a post today, ’cause I was supposed to fight him right before the pandemic happened. That event ended up being cancelled, Brazilians couldn’t come over to the US,” Cejudo said. “He’s a legend. He’s the greatest featherweight of all time. Now, he’s a real Hall of Famer. Sometimes you can be given Hall of Fame in the UFC, but this one is truly, truly earned. He’s one of the greatest of all time.”
When asked whether he thinks that Aldo had a few fights left in him, which his 2021 victories over Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font would appear to suggest, Cejudo insisted that now is the time for the veteran to increase his income with opportunities away from MMA, such as exhibition boxing bouts.
“No, I think this is the time for him to make money. I think this is the time for him to do maybe exhibitions… Make money. Use the brand that UFC has given you, all these other platforms, and continue to keep making money and being entrepreneurs,” Cejudo advised.
Recently, UFC legend Anderson Silva has found success inside the ring, most notably outpointing former WBC middleweight champion Julio César Chávez Jr. “The Spider” is now set for a lucrative clash in the ring with YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul.
Should Aldo follow the same path as his compatriot, it stands to reason that fans haven’t been entertained by “Junior” for the last time.
Do you agree with Henry Cejudo’s take on José Aldo’s decision to retire?