José Aldo may have his hands full when he takes on Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 237 but with just one fight to follow before his retirement, his ambition is still quite large.
It really would be something to behold if José Aldo could beat the odds once again and continue this late-career resurgence with a win over Volkanovski on Sunday night.
Despite losing three times in his previous four before taking on Jeremy Stephens last year, the manner in which Aldo has been able to get himself back into the featherweight title-mix is truly astounding.
Impressive stoppages of top contenders Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano saw Aldo defeat two top-5 contenders in-a-row to set himself up for a showdown against Volkanovski in his home-country.
As we all know, Aldo’s contract with the UFC is up after this fight and earlier this year, he has made it clear that he does not intend on fighting in the world’s biggest MMA promotion any longer.
Speaking in a recent interview with Combate, Aldo outlined his aspirations for the final matchup of his legendary UFC run.
“First of all, I have to win on Saturday, I have to respect my opponent. I have multiple scenarios in my head. If I’m in the UFC, I’ll always pursue the belt. That’s what it was like in the WEC, it’s not any different in the UFC.
“I like to look at some champions as role models. I saw Georges St-Pierre quitting when he was in his prime. It was always a dream of mine to become a champion and then stop. Everything can change.
“First, we need to focus on the task at hand, win and then see if I’ll fight for the belt or do a super fight. One thing is for sure, I don’t see myself fighting for many more years, like other fighters. I’m preparing myself not to go down that path.”
For a decade, Aldo ruled the featherweight divisions of both the WEC and UFC before encountering a brutal run of defeats on the biggest stage of his career.
A pair of losses to current champion Max Holloway and the former-champ Conor McGregor are nothing to be ashamed of, of course, but one would hope that the history books will place a deserved emphasis on the manner in which he overcame those massive setbacks.
Whether he can set himself up for a huge retirement fight or not, we’ll at least know more about his argument for one after this weekend.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena