Win, lose or draw, Jose Aldo has no plans to hang up his gloves after UFC 194, despite what one of his trainers seems to think. But if you ask Aldo, only the first of those three outcomes is possible.
Aldo’s trainer, Andy Souwer, noted the champion’s relationship with the figureheads at the UFC as a possible reason to leave the sport. Disagreements with UFC President Dana White regarding the extent of his rib injury prior to UFC 189 in July, discontent with the UFC’s sponsorship deal with Reebok and overall displeasure with fighter pay all seemed like viable reasons for Aldo to enter the Octagon for the last time at UFC 194.
The Nova Uniao product faces brash Irishman Conor McGregor Saturday, Dec. 12 to unify the featherweights titles. McGregor won the interim 145-pound title in July, after defeating Chad Mendes — who served as a last-minute replacement after Aldo pulled out citing a fracture rib — via second-round TKO. McGregor has gone 6-0 since making the jump into the UFC, stopping all but one of his opponents within two rounds.
Aldo, meanwhile, hasn’t lost in over a decade, reeling off 18 straight victories over some of the toughest fighters at 145 pounds — a resume that includes wins over Mendes, Frankie Edgar, Urijah Faber, Kenny Florian and Ricardo Lamas. Known as the only featherweight titleholder in UFC history, Aldo is set to defend his crown for the eighth time when he steps into the cage at UFC 194.