José Aldo has never stopped chasing gold

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Aldo’s improvements in his stand-up game have hidden the fact that his grappling is still top-notch. Controlling Font for nine minutes on the mat, the victory showed Aldo becoming the complete and dangerous fighter he was at featherweight, just 10 pounds south.

Chaining three consecutive victories, Aldo finds himself in the Top 5 of the bantamweight division of the UFC. Today, he’s looking to stay in the driver’s seat on his way to a title shot, when he takes on Merab Dvalishvili on the UFC 278: Usman vs Edwards 2 main card in Salt Lake City.

“He’s still very aggressive,” Aldo said of his opponent. “He looks to grapple and attack all the time. But I have seen that when hit it tends to slow down. Obviously, this is a very difficult fight. Like I said, I prepared for it, but I feel very calm about what I have to do. Whatever happens, I’m ready. I know I will win and I hope to win quickly by knockout.

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A win over Dvalishvili could give the king of Rio a second shot at the bantamweight title, one that could provide Aldo with the perfect swansong to cap off his Hall of Fame-caliber career.

“[A title fight] could be a great opportunity for me to fight again in Rio,” Aldo said. “Especially a fight that could potentially be the last of my career. So that would be great, but it’s not just up to me. What I can do is beat Merab and if I get the chance to fight again in Rio that would be great.

“Sterling and TJ are fighting in October, so if all goes well and Sterling wins without any injuries and he takes that fight, that would be perfect for me. That would be the perfect way to end my career; fight at home where I have all my friends and family.


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