Interim featherweight champion, Jose Aldo wants to be released from his UFC contract, just hours after the official announcement that he was denied a rematch with Conor McGregor again.
"Today I ask to cancel my contract with the UFC," Aldo told Brazilian news outlet Combate.
Aldo was once considered one of the biggest stars in MMA, until the night he lost his title to McGregor in just 14 seconds. He was promised a rematch with McGregor, but "The Notorious" had other plans... he wanted the lightweight belt too.
The UFC granted McGregor his wish, much to the disappointment of Aldo (who had gone previously undefeated prior to the loss), and paired him with then champion Rafael dos Anjos. As fate would have it, dos Anjos would be forced from the bout due to injury, and Nate Diaz stepped in. When it was McGregor who lost, a rematch was instantly granted, and Aldo was pushed aside for the second time.
Meanwhile, dos Anjos returns, and loses the lightweight belt to Eddie Alvarez. Aldo returned to face Frankie Edgar and won the interim belt.
Once the score was settled between Diaz and McGregor, Aldo was hopeful that he might finally get the rematch he was promised, so that they could unify the featherweight title.
He was wrong.
The UFC announced late Monday night that McGregor would now face Alvarez - and would not be forced to give up his featherweight title.
"I heard about everything that happened through my coach," Aldo said. "He had spoken with [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby Saturday and Sean still had no answer about anything, and asked if I could fight on November 12. My coach said that if it would be Conor, yes, and then Sean asked him if I would fight Max Holloway or Anthony Pettis. ‘Dede’ [Pederneiras] said that for those who I’d rather do a full camp and it could be on December 10. We waited until Dana publicly said that he wanted this fight with McGregor to happen. And then we expected it to happen: I’d get my rematch to unify the featherweight belts, or I’d have my belt back and fight Holloway or Pettis, since Dana [White] said all the time that Conor couldn’t keep both belts. But, to my surprise, I heard last night about the fight between McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, which was also denied by Dana last week. And to make it worse, he would keep the featherweight belt, and possibly having two belts at the same time."
Aldo, who has been a part of the UFC since 2011, says he can no longer trust what the UFC tells him, and wants to be released from his contract.
"Conor himself said before that he wouldn’t give his belt away by any chance and nobody would take it away from him," Aldo said. "After all this, I see I can’t trust any word from president Dana White, and who’s in charge of the promotion now is Conor McGregor. Since I’m not here to be an employee of McGregor, today I ask to cancel my contract with the UFC. When they offered me a fight with Frankie Edgar, Dana said that the winner would challenge McGregor or win the linear title, that he would lose his belt if he didn’t return to the featherweight division after his rematch with Nate Diaz. After being fooled so many times, I don’t feel motivated to fight in the UFC anymore."
According to MMAfighting.com, shortly after news broke that Aldo was asking for his release, White reached out to Aldo to "offer a solution." According to Aldo, who spoke again with Combate, he now wants to retire from the sport entirely.
"If [White] likes me and my family, I just hope he released me," he said. "I don’t want a fight. I want to leave as I came in. The UFC and WEC didn’t give me anything. Everything I conquered was my merit and from my team. Nobody gave me anything. I conquered everything. And I gave them a lot more than they gave me back. I just want them to release me from my contract. I’m not a whore to sell myself [for money].I don’t even want to fight MMA. I want to follow a career in another sport. That’s what I want."
I hope that this can all blow over, as I would be sad to see Aldo leave MMA, but I also couldn't say I would blame him either.