Jose Aldo’s decision to request his release from the UFC and essentially walk away from his mixed martial arts career was years in the making and resulted from what he believes was a repeated pattern of disrespect.
Globo revealed the news Monday that Aldo was unhappy that he hadn’t gotten a rematch with featherweight champion Conor McGregor and planned to walk away from the sport that had made him rich and famous.
Aldo is the former UFC featherweight champion who is ranked fifth pound-for-pound. He went more than 10 years between losses while compiling an overall record of 26-2.
Aldo and manager/trainer Andre Pederneiras, in separate lengthy interviews Thursday with Yahoo Sports, each listed numerous reasons why the man who is regarded by many as one of the top-three MMA fighters ever, is leaving the sport while still in his prime.
“It’s not just one thing or two things or three things with the UFC,” Pederneiras said. “If on the one hand you take the level of disrespect that is embodied in things like giving him leftover fights on nine days’ notice and calling him a chicken when he says no; promising an instant rematch [with McGregor] and not making it happen and making it contingent on a fight with Frankie Edgar and then still not making it happen; the overall level of disrespect is so great.
“It would be disrespectful to anyone. But it hurts more because it’s disrespectful to a guy like Aldo. He was undefeated in the WEC, undefeated in the UFC, an incredible fighter to watch who leaves his heart in the cage every time and then who, as a person, as a human, embodies values that are so important to his community [and] to his countrymen that have made him beloved and made him an idol. It’s like, ‘Really? You can’t give this guy the respect he deserves?’ What more would he have to do to be deserving of more respect?”
The UFC declined to comment.