Jose Aldo is coming out of retirement for UFC 301

Jose Aldo is coming out of retirement for UFC 301

Originally published on March 18 at 7:47 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Monday, 4/15/24, at 2:11 p.m. Eastern.

Jose Aldo (31-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Sept. 18 of 2022. However, it was announced earlier today that he’s going to grace the Octagon again.

The 37-year-old Aldo is set to return for a bantamweight scrap vs. Jonathan Martinez on May 4 at UFC 301 in Rio.

On April 14, BetRivers opened Martinez as a -117 favorite, with Aldo’s price at -107.

Since retiring, Aldo has been in two boxing matches. On April 1 of last year, Aldo fought fellow UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens to a draw in a six-round affair. Then on July 2, he defeated Esteban Gabriel Espindola via unanimous decision in a six-round match.

Aldo was inducted into the Modern Wing of the UFC Hall of Fame in the class of 2023.

Aldo won the World Extreme Cagefighting’s featherweight title with a second-round knockout win over Mike Brown at WEC 44 in November of 2009. The Brazilian would defend that belt twice more with wins over Urijah Faber and Manny Gamburyan.

When the WEC merged with the UFC, the promotion opened up the 145-pound division for the first time. Aldo went on to successfully defend the UFC featherweight title seven times.

He won title fights over Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, The Korean Zombie, Ricardo Lamas and Chad Mendes (again). Aldo finally lost the belt at UFC 194 when he was knocked out by Conor McGregor in merely 13 seconds.

When McGregor moved up to try and become a double champ by facing lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196, Dos Anjos pulled out less than two weeks ahead of the belt due to a foot injury.

This prompted Nate Diaz to accept a short-notice fight against McGregor at heavyweight. When Diaz won by second-round submission, the UFC granted McGregor’s wishes for a rematch.

Therefore, Aldo was booked to face Edgar again at UFC 200 for the interim featherweight championship. He won another five-round unanimous decision over ‘The Answer.’

Eleven months later at UFC 212, Aldo lost his belt in a third-round KO setback vs. Max Holloway, who would beat Aldo again in a rematch at UFC 218.

Aldo bounced back to collect consecutive wins over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano. However, a UD loss to Alexander Volkanovski prompted Aldo to drop down to bantamweight.

In his 135-pound debut, I felt Aldo was robbed of a win when the judges gave Marlon Moraes a split-decision victory at UFC 248. Despite the loss, Aldo was given a bantamweight title shot vs. Petr Yan, who won the vacant strap with a fifth-round KO win.

Aldo would respond with three straight wins over Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font. But when he lost a UD to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278, Aldo elected to retire.

The 29-year-old Martinez (19-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who is ranked 14th in the bantamweight division, is on a six-fight winning streak that includes two finishes and a pair of Performance of the Night bonuses.

Odds haven’t been released yet for this contest.