We often get emails and tweets from avid followers of this website asking us to stick to the fights rather than the politics, but that can sometimes be tricky given how deep the politics go. has infiltrated the world of mixed martial arts.
Looks like it all started when Donald Trump became President of the United States. The UFC, sensing an opportunity to take on the most powerful man in the land, rewrote promotion history to make Trump a key figure in the UFC’s survival from its troubled early days. From this overt flattery came benefits such as new contacts and relationships within the State Department that help maintain the flow of visas for international fighters even in these tumultuous times.
Of course, peer-reviewed studies have pointed to a sharp rise in extreme political rhetoric and hate crimes alongside Trump’s rise. Around the world, other leaders with authoritarian leanings have been riding a wave similar to Trump’s, and they are often supported by MMA fighters at home. A good example is former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who had the support of 49.1% of Brazilians in the 2022 elections and a much higher percentage of the country’s fighters.
One such fighter is Jose Aldo, who has become part of Bolsonaro’s current history as the ex-president left Brazil on the eve of rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s rise to power. Bolsonaro declined to be on hand for the power transfer, opting instead to travel to Florida where he is staying at the former WEC and UFC featherweight champion’s Orlando vacation home.
It’s unclear how long Bolsonaro will live in Aldo’s house. Some political commentators suspect he intends to operate “in exile” from Florida to avoid arrest by agents of Brazil’s new government. This is the level of tit-for-tat the Brazilian political system finds itself at, as current President Lula spent years in prison for what turned out to be a politically motivated corruption scandal.
As things stand, many people on the web aren’t focusing on the long-term political implications of this all-too-familiar left-vs.-right clash. Instead, they seem obsessed with the fact that Jose Aldo’s vacation home is a little bonkers, with several themed rooms, including an entire kids’ room decorated with Minions.
After fleeing Brazil on the advice of his lawyers, future ex-president Jair Bolsonaro is seeing himself for the New Year at the Orlando home of former UFC fighter José Aldo.
One of Aldo’s bedrooms is themed around “minions”. pic.twitter.com/AggGYqz3RS
— BRASILWIRE (@BRASILWIRE) December 31, 2022
For years, Bolsonaro supporters have been called “Bolsominions”, so you better believe people laugh at the idea of Jair sleeping in a Minion bed filled with Minion stuffed animals under Minion sheets.
We’ll keep you posted if Bolsonaro ends up leading a Brazilian government-in-exile out of Jose Aldo’s vacation space. For now, enjoy this video breaking down Aldo’s birthplace and all the themed rooms Bolsonaro, his family and staff are enjoying these days:
As for Jose Aldo, he retired from UFC competition in 2022 after a tough decision against Merab Dvalishvili. There have been rumors that ‘Scarface’ will be taking part in a boxing event in Russia in early 2023, but no confirmation yet.
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