Recently promoted UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has had a very public dispute with the UFC brass over the second half of this year. After Conor McGregor opted to return to welterweight for a rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202, UFC President Dana White stated that after the fight Conor McGregor must either defend the featherweight title, or vacate the belt.
That changed however when it was announced that McGregor would be making his lightweight debut at UFC 205 in a title fight against Eddie Alvarez. Ultimately, McGregor won the fight via second round TKO, claiming the UFC lightweight championship and becoming the first ever simultaneous two-division UFC champion.
That changed just weeks after the fight however when it was announced that McGregor had relinquished the featherweight title. That announcement was followed up by one that Jose Aldo, who was the interim featherweight champion at the time, had been promoted to the undisputed featherweight champion. In addition, it was announced that Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis would be fighting for the interim featherweight title at UFC 206.
After it was announced that McGregor would be fighting Alvarez, Aldo was quick to state that he wants released from his UFC contract so he can retire from MMA and pursue his dreams in other sports. With Aldo now the featherweight champion however, he no longer is pressuring the UFC to release him.
He explained how his UFC contract is keeping him from his other dreams in an interview with MMAFighting:
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“No. 1, I’m young. I’m too young to stop. And No. 2, I have a contract and it’s exclusive,” Aldo told MMA Fighting. “It doesn’t allow me to go chase those other dreams. So what was I going to do? It’s not like I was going to be allowed to box or chase those other dreams.”
“At that time, I was just really frustrated,” Aldo said.
“Plus, I’ve had a long-time dream to try my hand at boxing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to give a shot. Also, soccer. I’ve always had a passion for soccer. And at that time, I was just kinda feeling like I wanted to do other things. I thought, as long as this division isn’t moving and this is the way I’m being treated, I’ll go do something else, and when they do figure it out, I’ll come back.”