Former WEC and UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo nearly hung up his gloves for good after his second TKO loss to current champion Max Holloway.

Holloway has defeated Aldo twice in a row by TKO, most recently at lasts December’s UFC 218, and the second time almost pushed Aldo to retirement.

Aldo discussed his thoughts following UFC 218 and why he’s continuing to fight as he prepares for his first non-title fight in nearly a decade (via MMA Fighting):

”After the fight, I took some time for myself, to think and stay with my family. Two weeks later, I met with my coaches, sat down with everyone. I asked what they thought, if it was time to stop or not. We decided to move forward. The next day I was in the gym.”

”I think I still have much wood to burn, full capacity to go there and fight for the title again. I still have four fights left in the contract. I want to do at least three this year. I want to get to the third fighting for the title, be champion again. Then, in the future, I think about retiring or not.”

Aldo entered the UFC and was immediately crowned as champion of the 145-pound division after the UFC bought and absorbed the WEC back in 2010. Aldo had been featherweight champion in the WEC and managed to reign over the weight class for six years in total.

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Aldo lost his belt following a 13-second knockout loss at the hands of rival Conor McGregor at UFC 194 but managed to recapture the interim featherweight title after defeating Frankie Edgar for a second time at UFC 200.

Aldo has gone winless since the Edgar rematch and has now lost three of his last four fights by some form of knockout.

Thankfully, Aldo found his motivation to fight again after meeting with his team and coaches and is now set to fight Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens in his first non-title fight in years.

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Aldo and Stephens will meet in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 30 on July 28 in Calgary.

Matt McNulty is a writer & reporter for LowKick MMA. He has previously worked as a staff writer for, a crime and MMA reporter for the New York Post, and also as a general assignment reporter for the New York Daily News. McNulty has professionally covered MMA since 2013.