How MMA helped Jose Aldo out of poverty and towards the biggest payday of his career

Brazilian faces Conor McGregor and Off The Ball speak to Rio based MMA journalist Guilherme Cruz

Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, UFC

Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

As the UFC title fight between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo closing in, much is known about both fighters' styles.

But less is known about Aldo's background. Tonight on Off The Ball, Joe Molloy and Colm Parkinson were joined by Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting to talk a bit about the Brazilian's background.

"Yes, incredibly poor his family," said Cruz of the long-time featherweight champion who was born in the city of Manaus which has a rich pedigree for producing mixed-martial arts fighters.

"He stayed with his father, who was a bricklayer working six, seven days a week and he started working with his father since he was a young kid, until he found out what jiu-jitsu was. He fell in love with it and still had to help his father work every day. So it was complicated and it wasn't an easy childhood and he's now three days away from the biggest payday of his life so it turned out well for him." 

We've also spoken to Guilherme on Newstalk Sport about why MMA is popular in Brazil and how Conor McGregor is viewed in the country which you can read on Newstalk.com tomorrow.