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Jose Aldo confident Merab Dvalishvili ‘won’t even come close’ to a takedown at UFC 278

Jose Aldo is feeling good entering his bantamweight clash with Merab Dvalishvili later tonight (Sat., Aug. 20, 2022) at UFC 278 live on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. In fact, the former UFC featherweight champion believes he’ll completely stifle the powerful wrestling and takedowns of the Georgian fighter.

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BLOCKBUSTER WELTERWEIGHT SHOWDOWN! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Sept. 10, 2022, with a must-watch updated Welterweight thriller that will see perennial fan favorite, Nate Diaz now battles former top-ranked Lightweight contender, Tony Ferguson, who will return to the 170-pound weight class for this last minute, upgraded assignment. Meanwhile, In UFC 279’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, we now get the undefeated No. 3-ranked contender, Khamzat Chimaev, opposite Kevin ‘Trailblazer’ Holland.

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Aldo, who turns 36 next month, remains one of the best bantamweight fighters in the world today. The former 145-pound champion has won his last three fights at 135 pounds and is just one or two more wins away from another UFC title shot. He’ll need to snap Dvalishvili’s seven-fight win streak at UFC 278 to further push his name up the bantamweight pecking order.

In order to do so Aldo is going to have to defend Dvalishvili’s effective wrestling attacks. Dvalishvili averages more than seven takedowns per 15 minutes inside of the Octagon and has proven to be one of the best wrestlers at the bantamweight level. Luckily, Aldo carries a 90-percent takedown defense throughout his UFC career and believes he’ll be able to stop every attack Dvalishvili throws his way.

“I can’t see how (he can take and keep me down),” said Aldo during a recent interview with Ag Fight. “I train with much more accomplished wrestlers, so you better believe it he won’t even come close to taking me down. When you’re in there against the champion, you’ll see you’re not able to do the things you thought you could do when you were at home. I’m at ease about that.

“People say I train too much and I always tell them I don’t,” Aldo said. “This a skill of mine. It’s much more of that than actual wrestling practice. It has never been a priority of mine during the camp. I drill whatever works for me. I have a good double and single leg, plus my defense. He’s going to look for a grappling match and we’ll keep him away.”

If Aldo is able to stay off his back and keep Dvalishvili on the feet the matchup with heavily favor the Brazilian. After all, Aldo remains one of the more polished strikers in the bantamweight division and a fighter who knows exactly when to pour it on. If Dvalishvili is unable to score his patented takedowns he could be in serious trouble come Saturday night.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete UFC 278 fight card and PPV line up click here.

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