Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will have his hands full at this Saturday’s UFC 278, but this has not stopped the Brazilian from analyzing the next title fight in his current division.
Paired up against Merab Dvalishivili in what could be a title eliminator at bantamweight, Aldo is rather interested in the winner of UFC 280’s bout between Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw.
In an interview with YouTube Channel Encarada, Aldo analyzed the pairing and pointed Sterling as a heavy favorite over Dillashaw. In Jose’s opinion, T.J.’s two-year layoff due to doping suspension and his most recent performance just raise too many questions for the Brazilian to have faith in the former champion.
“For me, Sterling is a massive favorite,” Aldo said. “He showed it in the (second) Yan fight. His gameplan, his preparation. If I had to bet, I’d put my money on Sterling. I think he’s going to impose his will in the fight. I mean no disrespect to T.J, because he’s a great athlete, but I think his moment has passed. These two years that he spent away and wasn’t tested. I can say this again, the whole doping issue, everything he built. We don’t know how he did it, if it was really his body, because when the antidoping caught up to him, he always took two punches and folded.
“It’s not the same as when he used to fight before, when he was more exposed,” Aldo said. “You better believe that it’s a huge difference. So when he’s walking out there, he will be trying to prove it to himself, to find out if he can still do what he did before he got caught doping. He will have an opponent inside his head from the start. So, for me, Sterling is a huge favorite.”
Currently on a three-fight winning streak, with wins over Rob Font, Pedro Munhoz and Marlon Vera, Aldo (31-7) could secure a title shot with a win over Dvalishvili on Saturday. The 35-year-old’s last loss took place in July 2020, when he got TKO’d by former champion Petr Yan.
Now, Aldo is expected to meet Dvaishivili at UFC 278, on August 20, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a rematch for the welterweight title between the champion, Kamaru Usman, and challenger Leon Edwards.
About the author