When his time is done, Jose Aldo will go down as a legend of the mixed martial arts world.
A two-time and inaugural UFC featherweight champion, Aldo has lost just four of 32 fights in his 15-year professional career. But in the eyes of a casual fan, it's one of those defeats that comes to mind when Aldo comes into conversation – his 13-second loss to Conor McGregor in 2015.
McGregor dropped a charging Aldo with a left hand and followed it up with a couple of hammer-fist punches before the referee called the fight. Just like that, the Brazillian's 10-year unbeaten streak came to an end.
Aldo wasn't disheartened by the loss, however, and regained his featherweight championship with a decision win against Frankie Edgar just seven months later.
However, after back-to-back losses to current champion Max Holloway in 2017 saw him hold a 1-3 record from 2015-17, people started to think his time in the sport was done.
"My last two fights, I kind of went in and everyone was thinking I was done," Aldo tells the Herald.
The 32-year-old showed he was far from it, though, with two-straight knockout wins putting him into the conversation for another title shot. The only man standing in his way is City Kickboxing's Alexander Volkanovski.
The Australian Volkanovski has torn through the division since dropping down from the lightweight ranks in 2017, with his most recent win over perennial title contender Chad Mendes making a statement. With a 19-1 professional record, Volkanovski has shown he is a dangerous fighter who knows how to get the job done.
The pair meet on Sunday at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro, both expecting to have the next shot at Holloway's title if they win. Aldo would have the advantage of a boisterous crowd backing him, and he plans to feed from that energy.
"This fight means a lot," Aldo says. "I respect this opponent, but I'm going to go in there and beat him.
"The fans aren't very helpful to my opponent, so he's going to hear a lot of chants."
For Aldo, earning another shot at the title would give him the opportunity for a fairytale finish. While he wasn't ready to think about it after his last fight against Holloway, retirement is weighing on his mind.
"Every fight that I have a tough opponent, it shows that I'm still in there and it pushes me even further," he says.
"[But] I don't think I'm going to be fighting for much longer. Hopefully I get this win and could fight for the title by the end of the year and retire as the champion. Then, who knows, maybe I'll make a comeback like (former UFC star) Georges St-Pierre."