Sources: Aldo, Dvalishvili agree to UFC 278 bout

MMA

One of many best former champions in UFC historical past will tackle a surging contender this summer season.

Jose Aldo, the previous longtime UFC featherweight champion, and Merab Dvalishvili have verbally agreed to a bantamweight battle at UFC 278 on Aug. 20 in Salt Lake Metropolis, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. MMA journalist Ariel Helwani was the primary to report the bout being focused.

ESPN has Aldo ranked No. 4 and Dvalishvili ranked No. 7 on the earth at bantamweight.

Aldo (31-7) has received three in a row after a loss to Petr Yan in a vacant bantamweight title battle in July 2020 at UFC 251. He’s coming off a unanimous determination win over Rob Font in December. The Brazilian fighter is a former two-time UFC/WEC featherweight champion with seven profitable title defenses, probably the greatest marks in UFC historical past. Aldo, 35, moved all the way down to bantamweight in 2019 and has received three of 5 at 135 kilos.

Dvalishvili (14-4) has received seven in a row and has not misplaced since 2018. The Republic of Georgia-born fighter, who lives and trains in New York, most just lately beat Marlon Moraes, by way of second-round TKO final September. Dvalishvili, 31, is a former Ring of Fight bantamweight champion, nicknamed “The Machine” for his relentless tempo and wrestling.

UFC 278 will probably be headlined by a welterweight title battle between champion Kamaru Usman, ESPN’s prime pound-for-pound MMA fighter, and challenger Leon Edwards.

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