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We have a pivotal fight in the Bantamweight division, as the former Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo takes on Merab Dvalishvili. Entering this fight on a three-fight win streak, Aldo finds himself closing in on another title shot. With one of the wins coming over Marlon Vera, who just knocked out Dominick Cruz, it’s plausible to believe that a victory here could be all he needs to earn that shot. Meanwhile, Dvalishvili has been on a collision course to a title shot. Rattling off seven straight wins, the Georgian has had little resistance in carving out his spot among the division’s best. With an opportunity to knock off a legend and the third ranked Bantamweight, it would be hard deny Dvalishvili is unworthy of earning a title shot.

In a stacked Bantamweight division, this fight is yet another puzzle piece to figuring out the complete picture. One that I believe Aldo will be apart of, as I have the former Champion winning. At 35 years old and with eighteen years in the game, it’s a testament that Aldo is still competing at the highest level – in a lower weight class no less. The reason I believe Aldo gets it done though, is that while Dvalishvili has been dominate during this stretch, he has fought no one near the level of Aldo. In fact, during this seven-fight winning streak, four of the fighters are no longer in the UFC and arguably one of them in Marlon Moraes, who was regressing, is the Georgian’s best victory to date. In that fight against Moraes too, at one point, Dvalishvili got rocked and was on skates. Against Aldo, who’s takedown defense is among the all-time best, I have a feeling that Dvalishvili won’t be able to assert his wrestling dominance on the former Champion. A strategy in which has led Dvalishvili to glory in seven straight fights.

The other remark I’ll make about why I favor Aldo, is that while Dvalishvili is an excellent wrestler, he isn’t someone who maintains control. Often fighters are able to get back up, but usually are then re-taken down. Something in which I don’t foresee happening to Aldo. Lastly, Dvalishvili clearly brings forth more output than Aldo on the feet and can hold is own. However, Dvalishvili is clearly more vulnerable on the feet and between Aldo’s boxing and power, I expect that to show. With that said, I predict that Aldo will win via TKO.

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