A battle of bantamweight title contenders is being talked about for an upcoming UFC pay-per-view card. Former featherweight champion José Aldo and rising title hopeful Merab Dvalishvili are said to be meeting at UFC 278.
The news was first reported by Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting. Although the fight is not yet official, this is the direction the UFC is planning to head. The UFC 278 event is set to be held on August 20 in the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Aldo sat atop the UFC featherweight division for over five years. He was the perennial UFC featherweight champion after carrying the WEC belt for years before that.
When Aldo lost his belt to Conor McGregor in 2015, he entered a slump that included five losses. Now at bantamweight, Aldo has strung together three wins in a row and could be in line for a title shot soon.
Aldo has been calling for a shot at champion Aljamain Sterling recently, but now with talks of this fight with Dvalishvili, it seems that perhaps another man could be getting that title shot. However, a possibility is that the winner of this UFC 278 bout could be the next one in line for Sterling.
Dvalishvili is a good friend and training partner of the champ. He has mentioned not wanting to face Sterling, but with a win over Aldo, he could be directly in title contention.
Sterling has mentioned a move to featherweight in order to make room for his friend if that situation could arise. Dvalishvili is on a seven-fight winning streak, with his most recent win coming over Marlon Moraes back in September of last year.
UFC 278 will be headlined by a welterweight title matchup between Champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Leon Edwards.
Who do you think wins the fight between José Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili?