Dana White says that Jose Aldo has made the type of indelible impact on mixed martial arts that won’t soon be forgotten.
The Brazilian legend confirmed his retirement from the sport this week after an iconic career in which he broke new ground for lighter-weight fighters in the halcyon days of the sport when the UFC didn’t even have a lightweight division, let alone featherweight or bantamweight and so on. His run to gold in both the WEC and UFC, where he forged an impressive run of 25 wins against just one defeat before losing his UFC title to Conor McGregor in late 2015, was the stuff of legend, and his anti-wrestling style of striking proved to be hugely influential to legions of fighters who came after him.
And speaking to the media, including TheMacLife, echoed the praise which has been sent Aldo’s way since he opted to hang up the 4oz gloves.
“We love him,” White said. “This will always be his house. I told him, ‘If you ever need anything here or you ever want to go to an event, this is always your house.’ This is a guy that, from the WEC to the UFC, helped build the sport, this brand and Brazil for us.
“So we love him, and we always will. He’s made a great life for himself down there, too, and done some great things and made a lot of money, and I couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”
White added that of all the scenes he witnessed from Aldo over the years, once sticks out from the rest: “I think the fight was in Rio when he jumped out of the octagon and jumped into the crowd, and the crowd was carrying him around, and the place was going nuts. It’s one of my favourite Jose Aldo moments.”