Jose Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili meet at the upcoming UFC 278. The two guys have been in the mix for becoming the bantamweight challengers for quite some time, and this bout could give us the answer on who might be the next in line to attack the belt. Aldo is one of the most notable names in the UFC and one of those legends who are still active in the ring. He wants to win another title and cement his legacy, but that won’t be easy. On the other hand, we have a fighter who is in his prime and looks to crown that with a belt. Dvalishvili is on a surge riding a seven-win streak, and has every right to aim for the title.
Jose Aldo (30-7)(+105) was a solid favorite when the odds opened, sitting at -165. But less than 24 hours later, the fighters were even. It appears that the fans and the bettors don’t have enough confidence in the Brazilian veteran despite his three wins in a row.
He lost the first two bouts in the bantamweight division, one highly controversial split decision to Marlon Moraes, and after that, a KO massacre against Petr Yan in the title fight. Though, that didn’t discourage Aldo, who went on to beat three consecutive fights against Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz, and Rob Font. The latter was regarded as a possible title contender but was outclassed by Aldo. By the way, all three triumphs were via unanimous decision.
We are not going to talk too much about his resume and his wins in the past. He was the seven-time defending featherweight champion, and that is enough. Aldo still possesses fantastic stamina, even though he is a veteran. He didn’t have a KO win since Renato Moicano back in 2019, yet we wouldn’t say that his boxing deteriorated.
On the other side is Merab Dvalishvili (14-4) (-110), the Georgian whose nickname is “the Machine.” And in the last couple of years, Dvalishvilli was acting truly like a machine. Following two losses at the start of his UFC career, Merab went on to win seven consecutive bouts.
All of them were via unanimous decision, but the latest was against Marlon Moraes, whom he knocked out in the second round. Apart from Moraes, notable names, he defeated ae Casey Kenney, Gustavo Lopez, John Dodson, and Cody Stamann. Some would say that he didn’t have a proper test in the UFC, and that is why he considers this fight a ticket to the big stage.
Dvalishvili is a relentless wrestler who will drag you to the ground throughout the entire bout. His style of fight isn’t too attractive, but it gives certain results, mostly positive at the moment. Another weapon this guy has is cardio, otherwise, his nickname would be different. He is impeccable with fitness.
A major shift in the odds prevented us from earning more money. We were going to (and still are) propose to bet on Merab, whose power will be something Aldo didn’t face in a while. The Brazilian might encounter heavy hitters and kickers, but not such a dominant wrestler in a long time. That is why we believe Dvalishvili will win this event without any problems.
Pick: Dvalishvili +110
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.