MMA

UFC 278: Merab Dvalishvili vs Jose Aldo Picks, Predictions, Odds

Jose Aldo vs Merab Dvalishvili
August 20, 2022 11:00 pm EDT
The Line: Merab Dvalishvili -134 / Jose Aldo +114
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Jose Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili fight Saturday in UFC 278 at the Vivint Arena. Aldo enters this fight with a 31-7 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Dvalishvili enters this fight with a 14-4 record and is winning 71 percent of his fights by decision.

Aldo has split his last 12 fights and is coming off a December win over Rob Font. Aldo is averaging 3.61 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 46 percent. Aldo is averaging 0.51 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 54 percent. Aldo is coming off a decision win at UFC on ESPN 31 where he landed 96 total strikes and ate 193 total strikes. A controversial decision at best, Aldo has now won 3 straight bouts and all 3 fights went the distance. Aldo now looks for 4 straight wins for the first time since 2013-14. Aldo is a black belt in BJJ and has a background in Muay Thai. He is most known for his power striking and his leg kicks, and 3 of his last 9 victories have come by knockout. Aldo is also one of the more well conditioned fighters that’s allowed him to win 13 of his 15 career decisions, and he has a takedown defense percentage of 90 percent. Aldo may no longer be in his prime as he approaches 36 years old and with a lot of damage taken over his career, but he’s still an all-time great and that experience makes him dangerous. This will be Aldo’s first career fight in Utah.

Dvalishvili has won each of his last 7 fights and is coming off a September win over Marlon Moraes. Dvalishvili is averaging 4.26 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Dvalishvili is averaging 7.30 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Dvalishvili is coming off a knockout win at UFC 266 that earned performance of the night. Dvalishvili is now 7-2 under the UFC banner and has seen 6 of his last 7 bouts end in decisions. Dvalishvili has a background in wrestling and Khridoli, and he’s a black belt in Judo. Dvalishvili shows decent boxing skills in his standup, and he’s a really athletic fighter who mixes in leg kicks and can be a bit unpredictable on his feet while throwing a strong overhand. However, Dvalishvili is most known for his takedown ability and his overall ground game, and he becomes a point fighter on the canvas where he just wears on his opponent. Dvalishvili has seen 13 of his 18 fights go the distance, and he’s never been knocked out in his career. This will be Dvalishvili’s first career fight in Utah.

Dvalishvili should be favored, as he’s on a roll right now, he’s younger, and he has a clear edge if this fight goes to the ground. I get it. However, Aldo has seen everything under the sun, and he has an elite takedown defense. It’s not like Dvalishvili is a dangerous finisher who can knock Aldo’s head off. On the feet, Aldo is the more accurate striker and has a two-inch reach advantage. We also saw Aldo just win a fight that went the distance that he probably shouldn’t have won, so we should take that into consideration as well. Aldo’s name means something. 

I like Aldo and the plus money.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Jose Aldo +114

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.
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