Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has asked to be released from his UFC contract. League president Dana White has pledged to find a way to work things out. Aldo told Guilherme Cruz for MMA Fighting that on October 19 he, his manager, and his attorney were going to fly to Las Vegas to discuss his current contract.
Aldo’s goal is to get out of his UFC contract by any means necessary. The fighter apparently has one fight left on his current contract.
“We have a meeting scheduled to solve everything, but everything has been said already,” said Aldo. “We will see what happens in this meeting. I can talk more when I return.”
By “solve everything” Aldo means get out of his UFC contract. The fighter said he had considered retiring after the loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 late last year, but that his manager had convinced him to fight one more time. That ended with unanimous decision victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 in July.
“[White] can offer me anything,” said Aldo. “I started to get unmotivated back then, when I lost the belt. I was the champion for so long I had the right to get an immediate rematch and they didn’t give it to me, and I wanted to walk in a different direction but [coach/manager] ‘Dede’ made me fight again. I went there, fought and won, and again [the rematch] didn’t come. I have no desire to fight again. I don’t have any excitement to fight anymore. I have other projects in my life. I wanted to retire as champion and I’m the champion today. I want to follow another path.”
“I’m very decided what I want. We’re going to this meeting and see what happens. … It’s not like I want to retire, I’m too young and still have a lot left, but I have no desire to fight. And I have no interest in going to another organization. I won’t leave the biggest league to fight in a small one. I’m a big team and I want to be at the biggest league. If I’m not in the UFC, I’m not fighting anywhere else.”
“If they release me, that would be great, but if not, what can we do? I have other projects and that depends on this meeting we’re having with them. If I want to retire, no contract can stop me. I can go there and say [I’m retired] and they can’t force me to fight. A lawyer already looked at the contract, but I don’t want to fight [the UFC in court]. I don’t want anything.
“Ah, you want me to fight MMA again? So I’ll get in there and tap right away, and the fight is over. I’d do it quickly. What I really want is other things for my life.”
Any UFC fighter can retire if they want to, and White has long been adamant that if you are not enthusiastic about fighting, then, emphatically, you should not fight. So why, if Aldo has no intention of fighting for another organization, not simply retire?
“Because the same way I entered the UFC, I want to leave it,” said Aldo. “If one day I think about coming back, I’d come back to the UFC. That’s where I came from and where I deserve to be. But I have other projects.”
And the other projects apparently are not possible while he is under contract with the UFC.
“Absolutely. They have the rights for everything, even my breath,” said Aldo. “How can’t they? I can’t even breathe outside the UFC.”