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MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has given his thoughts on what he will remember most about Jose Aldo following the retirement of the future UFC Hall of Famer.
Aldo hinted at retirement in an alleged post-fight chat with Merab Dvalishvili following their fight at UFC 278 last month. The loss to Dvalishvili ended a three-fight winning streak at bantamweight.
Despite his ups and downs at bantamweight, Aldo will go down as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. His UFC featherweight title reign was one of the most dominant periods for a single fighter in UFC history.
While the highlights of Aldo’s career will play out for generations, Helwani believes Aldo’s greatest achievement was how he responded to one of his rare periods of adversity.
Ariel Helwani highlights Jose Aldo’s rebound from Conor McGregor loss
During recent episode of MMA hourHelwani explained what sets Aldo apart from most other all-time greats.
“The only thing he missed was foil, right? He missed that rivalry, he missed that guy. I had a little with Faber, it was one-sided, and here’s Conor. And we know what’s going on…obviously when I think of Jose Aldo I think of one of the greatest fighters of all time…title defenses, main events, knockouts, wins, all those things have to be discussed,” Helwani said of Aldo. “But if you remember the magnitude of that fight against Conor. The buildup, the heat, the world tour, the emotion, it was unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The fact that Conor brought this to him… stung that bear… Aldo was shaken. Knocks him out in 13 seconds…they go to the back, you see this video of him crying…and you think this guy is screwed. That could be it. How will he come back from this?
“And what is going on? Dusts himself off, wins the interim belt, fights for the 145 belt a few times, goes down to 135…gets it, go run over there, fight for that belt, seven years later he fights in potential contender fights #1,” Helwani continued on Aldo. “Seven years later, he is still in the game. Seven years later, it is very relevant. He doesn’t get knocked out, he doesn’t get embarrassed… to me, his biggest legacy is that he didn’t let that moment, that life-changing moment, that potentially career-defining moment, he didn’t. not let define it, that to me is amazing and it’s not done by most fighters.
Following the loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194, he won the interim belt from Frankie Edgar at UFC 200. He then picked up featherweight victories over Renato Moicano and Jeremy Stephens before moving up to 135lbs.
Despite the high mileage in his career, Aldo continued to fight for the bantamweight title against Petr Yan at UFC 251. Following the title loss, he picked up impressive victories over Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font. .
Aldo’s career is full of accomplishments and perhaps his greatest achievement was how he responded to one of the darkest moments of his career.
Do you agree with Ariel Helwani’s view on José Aldo?