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UFC stars pay tribute as MMA legend Jose Aldo retires

UFC stars pay tribute as MMA legend Jose Aldo retires

The 36-year-old finishes his decorated career as one of the most popular athletes in the sport.

Jose Aldo has retired from mixed martial arts.

Aldo, AKA 'The King of Rio', finishes his decorated career as one of the most popular athletes in the sport.

But at 36 years of age, he has realised that his time is up.

Aldo's retirement announcement comes shortly after the birth of his child.

A true pioneer of mixed martial arts, Aldo was arguably one of the first big global megastars of the lighter weight divisions.

And being the former WEC and UFC featherweight champion, the Brazilian has locked horns with some of the best fighters to ever walk the face of the earth.

While his form has slipped with age, he still boasts impressive victories over Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Cub Swanson, Kenny Florian, Mike Brown, Marlon Vera and Pedro Munhoz.

In recent years, he has fallen short in exciting bouts against Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway and Petr Yan.

And, of course, how could we possibly forget his legendary grudge match against Conor McGregor – which is still one of the highest-selling pay-per-views in combat sports history.

There was early rumblings that the end was in sight for Aldo.

After his three-fight winning streak came to an end against Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278, Aldo reportedly mentioned to the Georgian that he was planning on calling it quits.

Now, just one month on, and he has confirmed that.

When the UFC made a social media post revealing the news, a bunch of MMA stars flocked to the comments section.

Darren Elkins said: "Legendary career."

Derek Brunson added: "One of my fav of all time in his prime."

While Mackenzie Dern commented: "Legend! Thanks for all the amazing fights!"

As Aldo's fellow countryman Gilbert Burns simply replied using crown emojis.

But perhaps the best assessment of his incredible career came from MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.

"Jose Aldo’s greatest legacy, IMO, aren’t the title defences, the wins or the KOs. It’s that he didn’t let the 2015 loss to McGregor define him," Helwani tweeted.

"Many would have let that moment break them. Not Aldo. He worked his way back & even found success in 2 weight classes. Absolute legend."

He hangs up the gloves with an impressive record of 31 wins and eight losses.

While current champion Volkanovski is probably the front-runner as the greatest featherweight of all-time, there's no doubting that Aldo is right behind him in second.

Enjoy retirement, Jose.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia, MMA, UFC