Despite losing the featherweight title at UFC 212 in front of his homeland of Brazil, Jose Aldo showed the flashes of brilliance that have been present throughout his entire illustrious career. His mixed martial arts career has been nothing short of incredible, and even after his performance Saturday night Jose Aldo is still the greatest featherweight fighter ever.
But his career started before the featherweight division was even a part of the UFC. His dominance began in the WEC, which down the line would merge with the UFC. His WEC debut came in June 2008. He won that fight and his next four fights by KO/TKO. Aldo electrified the sport of mixed martial arts and proved that 145-pounders can really pack a punch. In his last fight before getting a WEC title shot, Aldo knocked out perennial contender Cub Swanson by flying knee.
The acrobatic knockout showed that Aldo was more than just hype, this guy was as talented as they come. He proved that once again in his first title shot by flummoxing then WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown with his superior quickness and versatility on his feet and on the mat. Once he hurt Brown on the feet he was able to control him on the ground. Aldo flattened out the champion and delivered vicious blows from the back to earn his first title.
His first title defense in the WEC was against another formidable opponent, “The California Kid” Urijah Faber. This was his first WEC fight to go the distance, but that didn’t stop it from being just as impressive as the others. Aldo proved he was the champion for a reason. Aldo kept delivering leg kicks, chopping “The California Kid” down limb by limb. Faber was a mangled mess by the end of the fight and the decision was as clear cut as any.
The brazilian fighter defended his WEC belt one more time prior to the WEC-UFC merger. Once the merger happened Aldo was still the defending featherweight champion, just under the UFC promotion. His first UFC title defense came in
April 2011 against Mark Hominick, where he won by unanimous decision once again.
Aldo would go on to defend the belt six more times and defeated Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes twice, Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung and Ricardo Lamas during that stretch. That marked nine straight title defenses between the two promotions, which is an insane amount of wins against the top competition in the featherweight division.
Although his run would come to an end, it was not short-lived by any means. From 2008 to 2014 the man was untouchable. Newer fans of mixed martial arts may not realize how dominant Aldo was during his reign of terror. His run was not supposed to end the way it did. Nobody imagined Conor McGregor knocking him out in 13 seconds.
But the rest of Aldo’s stellar career should not be undermined by 13 seconds. And it shouldn’t be erased by his outing last night against Holloway. Aldo’s resume speaks for itself, he is the greatest featherweight of all-time.