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If job one for living legend Jose Aldo was to stop the constant takedown threat of Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 on Saturday, consider it a job well done. Unfortunately for Aldo, the former featherweight king, his lack of offense failed to match the success he had on defense.  

Aldo's bid for a second shot at a bantamweight title since moving down in weight in 2019 came up empty as Dvalishvili snapped the 35-year-old Brazilian's three-fight win streak with a unanimous decision win inside Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dvalishvili (15-4) took home judges' scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27. CBS Sports also scored it 29-28 for the native of Georgia.  

Dvalishvili, 31, scored the biggest victory of his career while extending his win streak to eight in the sport's deepest division. But he may have created a problem as Dvalishvili inched closer to a potential title shot against teammate and 135-pound champion Aljamain Sterling, who helped corner him for the fight.  

As far as Dvalishvili is concerned, the two will never fight.

"This amazing guy, my brother, Aljamain Sterling, he is the reason why I'm stepping here," Dvalishvili said. "I remember, almost 10 years ago when I was coming [to the U.S.], I didn't speak English and I started training with Aljamain Sterling. He made me humble and made me realize how amateur I was. He made me who I am today.  

"I have a seven-fight win streak because of Aljo. I'm living in my dream right now. Aljamain Sterling is beating me everyday. Please, don't ask me anymore this question. We are not fighting each other, we are brothers, OK?" 

Aldo (31-8) spent all three rounds successfully stuffing Dvalishvili's attempts at bringing the fight to the ground, save for a successful shot late in Round 3 that saw the Brazilian icon bounce right back up to his feet. But Aldo used up a lot of his stamina to stay on his feet and his offensive output after the opening round suffered for it in the face of Dvalishvili's relentlessness.

Any success Aldo had in the opening round countering Dvalishvili with leg kicks and hooks to the body disappeared immediately after as Aldo was overly patient offensively. Still, Aldo collapsed to his back in disbelief upon hearing the scorecards that created a touching moment between fighters as they hugged from their knees.  

"This is a dream, I don't believe this," Dvalishvili said. "This is our job and whatever we do, we have to do best. But my opponent was Jose Aldo and I had to do everything [perfect]. I have so much respect for Jose Aldo. 

"He was very technical against the cage. Normally, I take down everybody but his footwork and takedown defense was amazing. I was surprised." 

Although Dvalishvili failed to impress with his striking as each takedown was so stubbornly stuffed along the cage by Aldo he never stopped trying to remain busy and it struck a chord with the three judges.  

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