Jose Aldo Brings Attention To Fighters’ Financial Issues During Pandemic
Jose Aldo, who is currently in self-quarantine, is scheduled to challenge Henry Cejudo for the UFC bantamweight title on May 9th at UFC 250. Beside obviously limited conditions for training, Aldo exposed some financial problems MMA fighters are facing during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Everybody’s defending [a lockdown], and I can guarantee you all athletes lost sponsors. Everyone. Everyone’s losing sponsors. How will they support themselves? Will they go out in the streets to rob people? What are they going to do? There are no gyms, they are all closed. You can’t teach private classes. How will they support themselves?” Aldo told MMA Fighting.
Furthermore, he expanded on how sponsorship deals could be terminated as a result of the current situation.
“I understand the businessmen’s side too,” Aldo said. “It’s not only the athlete’s side, ‘Oh, I have a contract.’ But how? Outside of a big company like Coca-Cola — that no athlete is sponsored by —, all companies are going bankrupt. All factories are stopping, the market is stopping. How are they supposed to keep an athlete if he can’t even pay an employee? That’s normal. That affects me and affects every other athlete. That’s normal and that will happen. I understand their side as well.”
Aldo is considered as one of the legends of the sport, with 34 fights under his belt. Making him more financially secure than most MMA fighters, and less vulnerable during the pandemic. This is why he advised his teammates to never turn down a fight.
“That’s something I always told everybody in the gym and my friends, to never choose fights,” Aldo said. “Doesn’t matter if it’s the number one or the last in the ranking, you have to fight because you never know about tomorrow. If you’re a champion, you’ll be a champion by fighting the first or the last in the ranking.
“The more you fight, the more you’re in the spotlight and everything increases, instead of this bulls*** that went on recently, ‘Oh, I’ll only fight if you’re ranked, I won’t fight if you’re not ranked.’ And now they are out there all f***ed, pardon the expression, desperate to fight no matter who because they will be in need. That’s how I think.”
It is believed that the UFC will move his main event against Henry Cejudo at UFC 250 from Sao Paulo to somewhere in the U.S., and have asked Jose Aldo to up sticks and leave his home in Brazil, for the U.S..