Aldo, who fights Frankie Edgar on Feb. 2 at UFC 156, was so poor growing up that he didn't own a television. He also didn't own a suit until 2010.
"We think nothing of a TV," said UFC vice president of community relations Reed Harris. "But we had some challenges with Jose, because he didn't know about interviews or TV. Where he came from, it was so poor, so well below the poverty line, that he didn't really have much of a clue about it."
"He's pretty frugal with his money still, which is good," Harris said of Aldo. "This is a long-term proposition. He's got to think about his family not just today, but 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now. It shows that he's a smart kid that he realizes that and is doing something about it."
Former UFC champ Rashad Evans, who also competes on the UFC 156 card, thinks it may be a struggle for Aldo to remain hungry to train hard since he overcame his impoverished upbringing to become a rich world champion.
"The challenge he faces now is that he's got to stay hungry and he has to keep in his mind that he's still that poor kid," Evans said. "Once the appetite gets filled, then the drive and the motivation kind of changes. Then you're like, 'I don't want to run and I don't need to run anyway because I'm this.' You start to get a little more complacent. As long as he keeps envisioning himself as that poor kid and can push through the hard days when he doesn't want to train, [he'll be fine]."