Jose Aldo’s UFC Losses: Who Has Beaten Jose Aldo Inside the Octagon?

Published 08/01/2021, 5:33 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Petr Yan of Russia punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


The former UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, is one of the best to represent UFC. The Brazilian joined the promotion more than a decade ago and has his name etched in the list of the longest-reigning UFC champions of all time.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 12: Jose Aldo of Brazil prepares to walk to the Octagon to face Conor McGregor of Ireland during the UFC 194 event inside MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

While he has so far competed in 36 professional matches, 17 of those have come for the UFC. As is the case with many outstanding fighters, along with many wins, he has also incurred few losses inside the octagon. Let’s have a look at those losses and the fighters involved in them.

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Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor- ‘The Notorious’ grabs the featherweight belt

Aldo enjoyed a lengthy featherweight title reign. He was the first-ever UFC featherweight champion as he received the belt at UFC 123 back in 2010. He carried the title on his shoulders for 5 years before dropping it to McGregor at UFC 194 in December 2015.

The match had an intense build-up as McGregor dominated him with his trash talk antics. It was clear from Aldo’s face that he was tensed before the fight begun.

In a battle involving Irishman vs Brazilian, brash vs stoic, interim champ vs undisputed champ, it was the man from Dublin that got the win. McGregor took just 13 seconds to seal the deal. It was bizarre to see a man who reigned supreme for 5 years getting beaten in 13 seconds.

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‘Blessed’ trumps ‘Junior’ for the gold

The UFC stripped McGregor of the featherweight championship in 2016 as he never defended the title. As a result, Aldo got promoted as the featherweight champion.

He fought the interim champion, Max Holloway, for the unification of the title in the main event of UFC 212. It was a pressure game for Holloway, as he was fighting in Brazil (Aldo’s home country).

Aldo took the first round. He landed crisp attacks when he had the chance over a patient Holloway. Twice the latter got in trouble but scampered to safety both times.

Max Holloway slowly started getting control in the second round. Aldo, also known for some of the nastiest kicks in the game, hardly thew any. ‘Blessed’ Holloway turned up the pace in round two, and a hematoma swelled on the left side of Aldo’s head.

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In the third, it was all cruise control mode for the Hawaiian. He tore Aldo apart, dropped him to the canvas, and, like a predator, went for the kill. The referee had seen enough, and he waved the fight off.

Blessed’ again gets the better of him

Aldo again came into the title scene after replacing injured Frankie Edgar at UFC 218. The Brazilian had an awful weight cut heading into the fight. Despite that, he got off to a solid start in the fight, though. Interestingly, he added his signature leg kicks, which went missing in his last fight.

The two-time former champ also landed solid shots in the second round and kept Holloway on the back foot. But just like in UFC 212, Holloway was just getting started and Aldo started fading.

‘Blessed’ Max Holloway went rogue in round three. He started pummeling the former two-time champion. And just like at UFC 212, the referee saw no other alternative and raised Holloway’s hand in the end for a TKO win.

Jose Aldo vs Alexander Volkanovski- ‘The Great’ steps up

After losing title fights to Holloway, Aldo made a strong comeback, winning two successive fights. A certain man from Australia named Alexander Volkanovski stopped his victory march this time. Aldo fought ‘The Great’ one at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro.

Aldo started the fight by claiming the center of the cage. Volkanovski approached the first round with a lot of feints and low kicks. But the Brazilian showed vehement defense early on. However, Volkanovski applied such pressure over the former featherweight champ that there was no doubt in judges’ minds who won the round.

Volkanovski’s pressure game continued in round 2 as well. He was causing trouble for the former champion from the get-go. ‘The Great’ smothered him against the fence and put him down with knees and punches.

The third round began the same way. Volkanovski did everything to save and build his lead by keeping Aldo against the fence. In the end, it was a tactical masterpiece from the Australian as he picked up an easy, unanimous decision win over the Brazilian.

Moving to bantamweight and losing the fight to Marlon Moraes

In late 2019, Aldo moved to bantamweight after cutting his teeth in featherweight for years. He fought Marlon Moraes in his debut match for the division at UFC 245.

In Round 1, both fighters landed significant shots and had pleasant moments. The former featherweight champ caused more damage to Moraes, but the latter could take down Aldo in the dying seconds of the round.

Round 2 started with Aldo pressing Moraes. He had a good amount of success on the feet, landing some big shots on the way. In round 3, Moraes found success as he landed some power shots that marked up Aldo’s face.

In the end, Moraes took the fight by a split decision amidst the boos from the live crowd.

Petr Yan grabs the center stage at UFC 251

Following the departure of Olympian and two-division champion, Henry Cejudo, Aldo fought rising Russian fighter Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight title at UFC 251. Many termed it controversial as Aldo got the title shot after successive losses.

The Brazilian started out strongly as he connected his trademark outside leg kicks. This not only pushed Yan on the back foot, but he had to shift to a southpaw stance to negate the kicks.

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Yan reversed a takedown to maintain the top position and started hurting Aldo with punches to the body before bloodying his mouth with brutal shots. Luckily for Aldo, the round ended at that point.

Aldo tried his best in exchanging hard strikes, but it was clear his gas tank was depleting. Aldo went to the body repeatedly with left hooks, but Yan countered those strikes with his own.

In the fifth round, Aldo fell on canvas by a left cross from a southpaw Yan. This was the beginning of the end for Aldo. Fixing himself in a crucifix, Yan busted open Aldo. As the Russian continued to pummel Aldo, the ref finally jumped to award Yan the title.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Petr Yan of Russia punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

This concludes the list of losses the former featherweight champ had to face in the octagon. Which of these losses do you think would have hurt Jose Aldo the most? Let us know.

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

552 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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