If he retired tomorrow, Jose Aldo could do so as one of the two or three greatest featherweights of all-time; and no one with any sense of history would frown upon his being ranked No. 1.
The Nova Uniao cornerstone made his professional debut as a 17-year-old on Aug. 10, 2004, rose to global prominence in World Extreme Cagefighting and then linked arms with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he continued to build his hall-of-fame legacy. Now 33 and with 34 pro bouts in his rear-view mirror, the former WEC and UFC titleholder’s prodigious skills have begun to erode with the unavoidable encroachment of Father Time. He last appeared at UFC 245 on Dec. 14, when he wound up on the wrong side of a contentious split decision against ex-World Series of Fighting champion Marlon Moraes.
With Aldo’s next move uncertain, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He travels in exclusive circles.
Aldo is one of four men who have captured the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight title, along with Conor McGregor, Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski. He remains the only fighter to win the championship twice, and his 1,848-day reign ranks as the longest in the division’s history, nearly doubling that of his nearest competitor: Holloway at 925.
2. His strength of schedule speaks for itself.
The five opponents who have defeated him—McGregor, Holloway (twice), Volkanovski, Moraes and Luciano Azevedo—own a cumulative 104-25-2 record.
3. The pages on his passport are frayed.
The longtime Andre Pederneiras protégé has competed on four different continents as a professional mixed martial artist. Aldo has gone 14-3 in North America, 11-3 in South America, 2-0 in Europe and 1-0 in Asia.
4. He monetized violence.
The Manaus, Brazil, native has captured nine post-fight bonuses as a member of the UFC and WEC rosters: two for “Performance of the Night,” three for “Knockout of the Night” and four for “Fight of the Night.” Those exploits have led to $406,500 of additional income for Aldo.
5. He owns plenty of record book real estate.
Aldo ranks first on the UFC’s all-time list for featherweights in title fight wins (eight) and takedown defense (.910), fourth in total wins (10), knockouts (four) and total fight time (3:46:19), sixth in significant strikes landed (735), seventh in appearances (14), eighth in total strikes landed (859) and 10th in knockdowns (four).