Aldo (31-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) on Sunday decided to retire with one fight left on his UFC contract, and the former featherweight champion leaves an undeniably great legacy behind.
Aldo’s UFC tenure ended at 135 pounds where he fell short of capturing gold. He was scheduled to challenge Cejudo for the bantamweight title in May 2020, but when the event was moved from Brazil to the U.S. because of the COVID-19 pandemic, visa issues forced Aldo out of the bout. Cejudo faced Dominick Cruz instead and retired after beating him. That led to a vacant title that Petr Yan and Aldo competed for at UFC 251, but Aldo was stopped in Round 5.
“I was supposed to fight him right before the pandemic happened, and that event ended up being canceled,” Cejudo said in an interview with Helen Yee. “Brazilians couldn’t come over to the U.S., so I was gonna fight him in Sao Paulo, so I wanted to give Jose Aldo the introduction, especially in his hometown. He’s a legend. He’s the greatest featherweight of all time, and he’s a real Hall of Famer. Sometimes you can be given Hall of Fames in the UFC, but this one is truly, truly earned, and he’s one of the greatest of all time.”
Even though Aldo has stepped away from MMA, Cejudo thinks there are plenty of opportunities for him to capitalize on financially outside of the octagon.
“I think this is the time for him to make money,” Cejudo said. “I think this is time for him to do, whether exhibitions – we just saw Nate Diaz, too, over at the WWE (event) … he’s looking to dabble into WWE, so make money. We got to use the brand that the UFC has given you, all these other platforms and continue to keep making money and be an entrepreneur, so I’m happy for him.”