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It was announced this past Sunday that Jose Aldo has been granted his release from the UFC and has retired from mixed martial arts. This marks the end of an 11-year era in the Octagon for Aldo who made his debut at UFC 129 in Toronto, Canada.
Aldo’s entry to the UFC was unique, as he was awarded the UFC Featherweight title before even competing in the Octagon. While he was the reigning WEC Featherweight Champion, Dana White announced in October of 2010 that the UFC would be absorbing the WEC’s Featherweight division. Prior to UFC 123 in Auburn, Michigan, Jose Aldo was promoted from the WEC Featherweight Champion to the UFC Featherweight Champion. He went on to defend Championship on 7 occasions and became the pound-for-pound #1 fighter in the world.
Even after losing his Championship to Conor McGregor, Aldo remained one of the best fighters in the world and experienced a career renaissance after moving to the Bantamweight division. He defeated Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz, and Rob Font prior to losing his final fight to Merab Dvalishvili.
What’s interesting is that Aldo didn’t just retire. He asked to be released from his UFC contract which leaves him free to pursue other opportunities. Given his star power and the growing opportunities outside the UFC, don’t be surprised if you see Aldo compete again. He still has the ability to compete at a high level.
When Joe Rogan joined the UFC in 1997, he did so 4 years before Dana White and the Fertitta Brothers took over the promotion. Rogan was hired by Campbell McLaren as a backstage and post-fight interviewer. This was during the “Dark ages” of the UFC when the promotion was banned on PPV and blacklisted from holding its events in many States. Rogan quit the UFC 2 years later as his salary couldn’t cover the cost of travelling to the events.
When Dana White and the Fertitta Brothers bought the UFC in 2001, Rogan started attending the events and became friends with Dana White. Dana liked the way Rogan spoke about fights and was impressed by his knowledge which led to him suggesting that Rogan become a commentator. Rogan had no background in commentary before this and initially refused Dana’s offer. Dana eventually talked Rogan into commentating for the UFC and Rogan worked his first 12 events as a commentator for free. At the time, the UFC was losing a lot of money and Rogan doing commentary for free was a massive help to them. It’s why Dana White is forever loyal to Rogan.
Earlier this week, Rogan revealed on his podcast that he has a clause in his contract that if Dana White leaves the UFC, he’ll leave the company himself. Free speech is important to Rogan, and he knows that he can do his job however he wants as long Dana is around.
Rogan had issues with FOX while doing commentary during the first UFC event on the network. FOX executives got in his ear and tell him to tone it down and to be more sportslike. Rogan didn’t like this and voiced his displeasure which led to the FOX execs quieting down. Rogan knows that as long as Dana White is around, he’ll be able to do commentary as he wants. It’s led him to become arguably the greatest combat sports commentator of all time.
Raul Rosas Jr. was 3 years away from being born when Dana White took over the UFC in 2001. He impressed the UFC President on the most recent episode of the Dana White Contender Series, defeating Mando Gutierrez by unanimous decision. This earned Rosas a contract with the promotion, making him the youngest fighter in history to sign a UFC contract at the age of 17.
Rosas grew up around fighting, as his father Raul Rosas Sr. competed professionally. It’s been less than 1 year since Rosas made his professional MMA debut, and he’s already accumulated a record of 6-0 with 5 of those wins coming this year. Prior to entering the UFC, Rosas competed exclusively for the Mexican promotion Ultimate Warrior Challenge, where all of his fights took place in Tijuana, Mexico.
Rosas Jr. is highly ambitious and is looking to become the youngest Champion in UFC history, which is a record currently held by Jon Jones who became the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion at the age of 23. Rosas Jr. is turning 18 next month, which gives him 5 years to break the record. It’s going to be interesting to see how the UFC matchmakers book Rosas career in the years to come. Starting a career early doesn’t usually lead to a long career as we’ve seen with fighters like Rory MacDonald who started fighting professionally at 16 and then retired from the sport at 33. This remains to be seen with Raul Rosas Jr.
Eddie Alvarez parts ways with ONE Championship and enters free agency.
Scott Coker has reached out to Nate Diaz about signing with Bellator.
Floyd Mayweather teases a 2023 fight against Conor McGregor then gets shut down.
Kevin Holland teases retirement with a cryptic Instagram post.
Anderson Silva is considering a final MMA fight in Japan.
Invicta FC partners with Verdict for Invicta FC 49 on September 28th. That's an exclusive.
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