Last Saturday night, in the co-main event of UFC Fortaleza, former UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo stepped into the cage with a fellow Brazilian in Renato Moicano.
Aldo looked every bit an MMA great in this fight, thumping Moicano to a second-round TKO victory. While this was the outcome he sought, however, he did not take great pleasure in defeating one of his countryman, and a fighter still on the come-up.
Speaking at the UFC Fortaleza post-fight press conference, Jose Aldo revealed that he actually apologized to Renato Moicano after the bout ended.
“First of all, I thanked him for the fight,” Aldo said at the post-fight news conference (via MMA Fighting). “I think that I had to say sorry because I was getting in the way of his dreams.”
While Jose Aldo was able to turn back the clock in Fortaleza, his time as a fighter is coming to an end. The Brazilian MMA legend has stated that he hopes to retire at the end of this year.
As his retirement looms on the horizon, Aldo understands that fighters of his generation need to be replaced by fighters of a newer generation — just like Moicano.
He says he wishes nothing but the best for his UFC Fortaleza opponent, and that he believes Moicano can be a champion in the future.
“We need the new generation,” Aldo said. “We need new athletes in my division, too. I always dreamed of having a total domination of Brazil in the division and I lost that so I want to give him the strength for that. So now it is in the past and I hope that he keeps going.”
“He’s got his talent and he’s got his skills and he’s got a great future ahead of him,” he added. “He needs to believe in his team and hopefully he can fight for the title one day and become the champion.”
What do you think of these comments from the great Jose Aldo?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/4/2019.