Every UFC fighter has their own story to tell about their journey to the big leagues. And each is unique and intriguing in its own way.
However, some stars incredible backstories stand out from the rest. In this article, we’ll look at 10 current fighters competing in the UFC who have had the most unforgettable journies on their way to becoming a professional fighter.
Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo’s family was so poor that buying a gi for Brazilian jiu-jitsu seemed out of the question. However, a local coach recognized his potential, giving him an old one and letting him train for free. Aldo took to the sport instantly. Four months later he was already making an impression in his first tournament He’d go on to train multiple times a day and win several local tournaments.
The teenage Aldo knew that to make a career out of it, he’d have to make his way from Manaus to the bright lights of Rio. With the help of his coach and working alongside his father as a bricklayer, he scraped together enough money to get a one-way ticket. Penniless, Aldo had no option but to live at the gym ran by ‘Dede’ Pederneiras. He used the mat he rolled on during the day as his bed at night and ate just once a day.
Eventually, the gym moved. Aldo would have been homeless if fellow fighter Hacran Dias hadn’t offered him a place to live in his mother’s cramped home deep within the favelas of Rio. It was a rough place to live, but Aldo never lost focus on chasing his dream. In the end, it all paid off when he became a champion in the WEC and then transitioned to the UFC, defended his title seven times and became a multimillionaire in the process.