Ahead of the scheduled fight between Jose Aldo and Merab Dvalishvili later this year, UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith has shared his opinion on how he sees the bantamweight matchup playing out.
'Lionheart' unfortunately saw his three-fight win-streak come to an end after an injury led to him suffering a second-round TKO loss to Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 277. The fifth-ranked 205-pounder is likely to be out of competition for the rest of 2022 but hopes to push for another shot at UFC gold when he returns to the octagon.
While discussing the clash at 135lbs, Smith gave his prediction, insisting that Merab Dvalishvili's grit may be the key to victory against the seasoned veteran Aldo.
"I think if Merab can keep Aldo working harder than he wants to and keep it busier and kind of stay in his face and do the up-down game, I think he can be successful."
"If I had to pick, I honestly think I would pick Merab. I think just his durability and his conditioning - I think those two things alone, they're gonna give Aldo lots of problems."
The Georgian is known for his crippling pace and high-level grappling. Nonetheless, he'll be met with his toughest test to date in the octagon when he steps in to face Brazilian legend Jose Aldo.
Check out what Anthony Smith had to say about the fight in the video below.
One last push at UFC gold for Jose Aldo?
At 35, Jose Aldo still potentially has a couple years left in him competing in the sport of mixed martial arts. But is this his last chance to claim championship gold in the UFC?
Currently sitting third in the bantamweight division, the 38-fight veteran is coming to the end of his career, making the task of competing in combat sports all the more challenging. Nonetheless, back-to-back wins over 'Chito' Vera, Pedro Munhoz, and Rob Font have earned Aldo the chance to once again become UFC champion. However, he must first overcome the wrestling prowess of Merab Dvalishvili.