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A fresh contender has emerged in the bantamweight division at UFC 278, and his name is Merab Dvalishvili. The Georgian made a statement with a unanimous decision make an impression on Jos Aldo on the primary card from Salt Lake City on Saturday.
Aldo was likely to function as toughest test up to now for Dvalishvili and he didn’t disappoint. He looked strong and quick in the initial round. While Dvalishvili was setting the pace for the fight, the King of Rio was firing off counter punches and body kicks.
Especially, Aldo could stuff early takedown attempts from Dvalishvili, forcing the fighter to visit Plan B.
That isn’t something Dvalishvili has generally had to accomplish. The Georgian often takes fighters down at will, but he previously Aldo yawning along with his takedown attempts by the next round.
However, Aldo’s insufficient activity may have been his downfall. While he shut away every takedown attempt he didn’t surrender enough of his offense to win rounds.
Thus, it had been a blue collar win for THE DEVICE. There have been few moments that may find yourself on his highlight reel but he did what he previously to accomplish to leave from the cage with a win.
Dvalishvili has been quickly rising up the rankings as he continues to accumulate the wins. Though Dvalishvili’s degree of competition has continued to obtain tougher, Aldo is his perhaps most obviously win up to now.
The 31-year-old in addition has bested Marlon Moraes, Cody Stamann and John Dodson.
A make an impression on Aldowho is really a surefire Hall of Famer and former featherweight championonly serves to cement Dvalishvili’s status as a top-five fighter in the weight class.
Addressing the mountaintop could possibly be complicated for him, though. He and current champion Aljamain Sterling are training partners, and THE DEVICE is insisting he won’t fight his friend.
“We’re still exactly the same page that we’re not fighting one another,” Dvalishvili said on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “First, I must win this fight, Aljo must defend his belt. I understand he’ll do it. We shall talk after, but we’re not likely to fight.”
Needless to say, we’ve heard this line before, and former training partners and friends fight on a regular basis. For now, you can find several dominoes yet to fall in the division before it becomes a genuine issue.