Jose Aldo v Merab Dvalishvili is close to finalization


A major UFC bantamweight bout is in the works.

Top contenders Jose Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili are set to collide on August 20 at UFC 278. The event takes place at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

Two people with knowledge of the booking informed MMA Junkie of the targeted matchup on Tuesday, but asked to remain anonymous because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. The match was first reported by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani.

Aldo (31-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC) is riding a three-fight winning streak in the fight, including victories over Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font. The streak dating back to 2020 is Aldo’s best and only at bantamweight. After a reign as champion and then top featherweight contender, Aldo dropped to 135 pounds in 2019. From an 0-2 start to his divisional tenure, Aldo rallied and is now once again close to a title. UFC.

Dvalishvili (14-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) meanwhile rose through the division ranks after an 0-2 start to his UFC tenure. Dvalishvili is riding a seven-fight winning streak in UFC 278. Notable wins include Marlon Moraes, Cody Stamann and John Dodson. At UFC on ESPN 10, Dvalishvili broke the UFC/WEC bantamweight record for most knockouts in a fight with 13.

With this addition, the UFC 278 lineup includes:

  • Champion Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards – for welterweight title
  • Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili
  • Paulo Costa vs. Luke Rockhold
  • Luis Saldana vs. Sean Woodson
  • Qileng Aori vs. Jay Perrin
  • Victor Altamirano vs. Jake Hadley
  • Harry Hunsucker vs. Tyson Pedro

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