Despite recent rumors, it seems that former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is not retiring just yet. Following a frustrating loss to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC Vegas 58, the Brazilian may be taking a spot on the upcoming Rio de Janeiro, which is scheduled for January 2023.
In a conversation with Ag Fight, Nova Uniao’s head coach Andre Pederneiras was the one who denied the rumors based on what Dvalishivili himself claimed to hear from Jose after the bout. However, the trainer emphasized how words expressed in the heat of the moment should be taken to heart and that he has heard that from Aldo before.
“They’ve made a mini-documentary about me and Aldo, about our relationship and shedding some light on the times he lost. He would turn to me and say ‘I’m going to stop. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ If you only knew how many times an athlete loses and says they don’t want anything to do with MMA anymore. After a couple of days, they’re right back at it. I haven’t heard that from just Aldo.”
“This is what I always tell them.” Andre said. “Do what you want today, we’ll talk later.’ I’m sure nothing has changed. Unless he brings that up again in the coming weeks, which I don’t think he will. Sometimes it’s just anger. It’s normal to say things. I want to see the champions who are in this life and are able to remain in the top 5 like Aldo. Most guys in Aldo’s age, they retire after conquering what Aldo has conquered. Aldo is still winning. He’s top 2 or top 3 now.”
Although nothing is planned and Pederneiras does not intend to plan his next move ahy time soon, Andre does believe the upcoming Rio de Janeiro card is a real possibility. However, he prefers not to say anything for certain until he talks with the UFC and with Jose himself.
“No matter the result, win or loss, we don’t plan anything until 15 days later. He’s not fighting now, anyway. It’s going to take a while for us to analyze the division, the pairings, so it’s no use thinking about that now. These are mental vacations, that’s the truth. There’s enough time. We’re in August and the card is in January. That’s time enough to get ready. We have to talk to the UFC, see what they think. It’s a lot to consider.”
Before the loss Merab, Aldo (31-8) was on a three-fight winning streak, with wins over Rob Font, Pedro Munhoz and Marlon Vera. Jose’s latest loss before that took place in July 2020, when the 35-year-old got TKO’d by former bantamweight champion Petr Yan.
The UFC 283 card is expected to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 21. So far, no official bouts have been added to the event.
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