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He's a better footballer than Neymar - 16 things to know about Jose Aldo
The UFC champion comes to Ireland this week.

JOSE ‘SCARFACE’ ALDO will be in Dublin on Tuesday for a media event with Conor McGregor to promote their title bout at UFC 189 in Las Vegas on 11 July.

Ahead of his arrival, here are 16 things worth knowing about the UFC featherweight world champion…

1. He was raised in poverty in the Amazon’s largest city

Aldo grew up in the favelas in the northern Brazilian city of Manaus, before making his way to Rio de Janeiro and achieving success through martial arts: “When I was a child I used to tell my mom that I wanted to see the ocean, and that one day I would live in Rio. She always thought it was childish dreams. When I came to Rio, I brought back to her the ocean water and shells, to prove to her that I had made it.”

UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship / YouTube

2. A childhood accident gave him the ‘Scarface’ nickname

A prominent scar on the left side of Aldo’s face came as a result of being accidentally rolled on to a barbecue pit when he was an infant. Aldo has been quoted as saying that the incident happened during a party for a 1986 World Cup game, but given that he wasn’t born until three months after the tournament ended, it seems Jose might be slightly mistaken on that.

3. He’s a black belt in BJJ

Training under the legendary André Pederneiras, Aldo is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. However, with just two of his 25 career wins coming by submission, he’s not known as a ground fighter in MMA. The 28-year-old also has an extensive Muay Thai background, which he tends to favour in the octagon.

UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship / YouTube

4. At the age of just 17 he made his professional MMA debut

The first of those 25 victories came way back in 2004, when Aldo was still a month shy of his 18th birthday. The fight itself lasted just 18 seconds, as the teenager from Manaus defeated a man named Mario Bigola via head-kick KO.

5. He’s a Chelsea supporter

Aldo is often pictured wearing the blue of the Premier League leaders. He’s made a few visits to Stamford Bridge too. In Brazil, the famous Flamengo are his team.

José-Aldo-Chelsea-640x480-Reprodução FoxSports.com.br FoxSports.com.br

6. He once embarrassed Neymar on the football pitch

Before martial arts took over his life, Aldo’s dream was to be a professional footballer. Not too uncommon for a Brazilian, but it seems he was pretty good. During a charity game in December, Aldo pulled off a piece of magic at the expense of Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar.

Footy-Goals.Com / YouTube

7. His wife is a fighter too

Aldo met his wife, Vivianne Perreira, in a Rio de Janeiro gym when he was 16. She’s a purple belt in jiu-jitsu and has competed professionally in Muay Thai.

8. Only once has he been beaten

Luciano Azevedo remains the only man to inflict defeat on Jose Aldo, who had just turned 19 at the time. Azevedo was victorious via second-round submission in November 2005. Aldo’s response? A run of 18 straight victories that still hasn’t been broken.

9. He has some pretty illustrious team-mates

The renowned Nova União team in Rio de Janeiro is who Aldo represents. His team-mates include former UFC chamions Renan Barao and Junior dos Santos.

AldoNeymar Instagram Jose Aldo with Brazilian footballers David Luiz and Neymar. Instagram

10. He’s the only featherweight champion in UFC history

When World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the UFC in 2010, Aldo — as the reigning WEC title-holder — was awarded the inaugural UFC featherweight title. He has yet to relinquish the belt, having emerged victorious from seven consecutive title defences in the octagon.

11. Conor McGregor had yet to fight for Cage Warriors when Aldo became UFC champion

Aldo was officially awarded the UFC belt on 20 November, 2010. Seven days later, Conor McGregor lost his Cage Warriors debut to Joseph Duffy, which puts the Dubliner’s incredibly rapid rise in perspective.

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12. According to the pound-for-pound rankings, he’s the second-best fighter in the entire UFC

Only light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones is placed higher than Aldo in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings, which are generated by a voting panel of media members. That keeps him higher than the likes of Chris Weidman, Cain Velasquez, Ronda Rousey and Anderson Silva.

13. He hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with Dana White

The relationship between Aldo and the UFC president has often been strained. After Aldo’s win over Ricardo Lamas last year, White was critical of the champion’s approach: “The thing about Jose Aldo that drives me crazy is the kid has all the talent in the world. He’s explosive, fast, he can do anything… but he just lays back and doesn’t let anything go.”

Aldo said back in September: “I sincerely don’t care about any of what Dana White says. Everything that he says has no importance to me.”

14. He’s been critical of the UFC when it comes to what fighters are paid

Aldo has expressed his belief that fighters don’t earn enough on several occasions: “We [fighters] give a lot to the company and I think it is not as valued as it should be. Nowadays the company is very large and athletes are very devalued. We try to always give the maximum in training to get in there and fight, thus raising millions for the company. We also want to have part of these millions.”

Brazil UFC 142 AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

15. He’ll equal a record set by Anderson Silva with a win against Conor McGregor

If he overcomes his Irish opponent in Las Vegas on 11 July, Aldo will secure his 16th consecutive UFC/WEC win — equalling a record set by his fellow Brazilian.

16. On average, his bouts last longer than any other UFC fighter

Aldo has been taken the distance in five of his seven UFC bouts. As a result, his average fight time of 20:20 during his UFC career is the longest of any fighter in the promotion’s history.

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