Former UFC champion José Aldo’s 3rd pro boxing match made official

Former UFC champion José Aldo is set to return home to Brazil for his second professional boxing match.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
Former UFC champion José Aldo’s 3rd pro boxing match made official
José Aldo during a UFC Vegas 44 media scrum. IMAGO | Zuma

Former longtime UFC featherweight champion and consensus future Hall of Famer José Aldo has booked his next fight. It will be his third pro boxing match since his fight against fellow UFC alum Jeremy Stephens at Gamebred Boxing 4 in April. 

José Aldo set for second third boxing bout 

According to several reports, Aldo’s next pro boxing bout will be against Argentina’s Esteban Gabriel Espindola (0-1-1). The fight will take place on July 2nd at Shooto Boxing 2 at the Upper Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

The bout will serve as the headliner for the event, according to Shooto President and Aldo’s coach at Nova União, Andre Pederneiras. 

The weight for the bout hasn’t been finalized, but according to Aldo’s conversation with MMA Fighting after the Stephens bout, he is looking to compete against a lighter opponent. Espindola is listed as a super featherweight (130 pounds). 

“I wanted to build a career in boxing like everybody does, to start against easier opponents and earn experience until you get there. But given the name I have, it’s hard to take the same path everybody else does. 

“We’re trying to choose the right fight. Jeremy was way heavier than me now. I was at 157 pounds when I went to the arena on fight night, and he was over 177. There was a huge difference.”

José Aldo’s boxing run

Since leaving the UFC in September 2022, José Aldo has taken on two pro boxing matches so far. His debut happened in February against Emmanuel Zambrano, where he won via unanimous decision. 

At the time, Aldo also revealed being in talks with Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a supposed exhibition bout, and claimed that both parties have reached an agreement. 

“(Mayweather’s) side has already agreed, my side too. We’re now waiting for (the promoters) to get the deal done,” Aldo said at the time. “It might be exhibition on (Mayweather’s) side, but not for me. It’s punch to the face like always. He knows that.”

The bout never came to fruition, and Aldo instead faced Jeremy Stephens under Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Boxing. It was a back-and-forth bout that ended in a majority draw

After the fight, a conversation about a possible fight between Aldo and former rival Conor McGregor had reignited. “The Notorious” issued a short and sweet callout via social media which Aldo aggressively responded to.

“Conor, shut your f–king mouth,” Aldo responded through a translator. “We were supposed to fight (again) before in UFC. You ran, and now you still talk shit.” 

José Aldo’s storied MMA career

For MMA fans, José Aldo is and always will be one of MMA’s all-time greats. He put on a stellar run under the WEC banner and carried that momentum upon his entry into the UFC in 2011. 

Aldo holds impressive wins over Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian, and ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan-sung Jung, before running into McGregor in 2015 and ultimately losing the undisputed 145-pound title. 

José Aldo tried to reclaim the belt but failed to do so twice against Max Holloway. After losing to current champion Alexander Volkanovski, the ‘King of Rio’ decided to move down to 135 pounds.

During his short tenure at bantamweight, Aldo fought the likes of former champion Petr Yan, Marlon Moraes, Pedro Munhoz, and Rob Font. His final UFC fight happened in August 2022 against Merab Dvalishvili, where he lost via unanimous decision.

Aldo left the UFC as a free agent soon after, and has three wins in his last four fights. He holds a professional MMA record of 31-8. 

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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