Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo nearly considered calling it a career following back-to-back losses to Max Holloway last year.
The longtime pound-for-pound great relinquished the 145-pound belt in a third-round technical knockout loss to Holloway at UFC 212 in June before suffering another third-round TKO defeat to the Hawaiian in a rematch at UFC 218 this past December. That second defeat had the Nova Uniao standout seriously questioning his next move.
"After the fight, I took some time for myself to think and stay with my family,” Aldo told Combate. “Two weeks later I met with my coaches, I sat down with everyone. I asked them what they thought, whether it was time to stop or not. We decided to move on. The next day I was at the gym.”
From 2006 to 2014, Aldo won 18 consecutive fights, capturing titles in the UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting along the way. That run established the 31-year-old as arguably the sport’s greatest featherweight of all-time. Only recently has Aldo experienced some struggles in the Octagon, losing three of his last four bouts. That includes a 13-second knockout loss to Conor McGregor as well as the aforementioned setbacks against Holloway.
Nonetheless, Aldo will return to action against Jeremy Stephens in the UFC on Fox 30 co-main event in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 28. Down the road, he still has designs on recapturing the belt he held for so long.
“I think I have a lot of wood to burn yet, full capacity to go there and fight for the title again,” Aldo said. “I have four fights still in the contract, I want to do at least three this year. I want to reach the third already fighting for the title, to return to be the champion. Then in the future I think about retiring or not.”