After a failed bid at a second world title back in March, Israel Adesanya is set to face a familiar foe in Marvin Vettori in a heated rematch in the headliner at UFC 263.
As aforementioned, middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya fell short against the bigger man in the light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. Admittedly, in this fight, a much different attitude is in the air. After all, the middleweight champion took his first professional MMA loss against Blachowicz on that fateful night so one would expect him to come out guns blazing. Italians are known for their ferocity among many other useful traits but certainly, it will be the willingness to engage on Vettori’s part that makes this rematch so enticing for fight fans.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 9, 2021
Marvin Vettori, 27, is in a prime position to snatch the title from Israel Adesanya but he will have to make some requisite adjustments from his last fight if he is to contend on the feet with the champion for an extended period of time.
Conversely, Adesanya, 31, trains out of the renowned City Kickboxing gym with head coach Eugene Bareman. Since his rise to fame, Adesanya surpassed the expectations of many but is still determined to etch his career into history books. The middleweight champion has been signed to lucrative sponsors like Puma, so it goes without saying, that outside of the MMA space, the Nigerian-born champion is approaching a star-like status.
Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori – Will History Repeat Itself?
Even though Adesanya knows how to walk the walk and talk the talk, he has a division to return to, and after UFC 263, plans to emerge once again as the best middleweight in the world. Entering into the first fight with Vettori, rest assured, the feints and fakes of Adesanya frustrated the “The Italian Dream”. Vettori has not lost inside of the Octagon since his initial fight with Adesanya a few years ago.
Although, in a three-round fight back in 2018, Vettori began to utilize his wrestling abilities more often in the third round. After noticing the success, many thought Vettori was beginning to take over the fight after holding “The Last Stylebender” down for quite some time. However, in the end, Adesanya secured a split-decision victory. Although Vettori got Adesanya down, he did very little damage, preferring just to control the future champion.
After watching Vettori’s wrestling-heavy performance against Kevin Holland in April, certainly, the Italian title contender is seeing a viable path to victory this weekend. Most of all, Vettori held Holland down for over 20 minutes in a five-round fight with 11 successful takedowns out of 17. Additionally, Vettori showed his activity in the cage has levelled up, as the Italian threw 250 punches with 152 connecting successfully.
Without a doubt, the reigning middleweight champion is aware that Vettori will likely bring a similar grappling-centric game plan after seeing Adesanya’s first pro loss in April to Blachowicz. But Vettori’s striking has improved dramatically definitely has some mystery behind it.
Whoever wins the rematch between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori will reign over the middleweight division. With a lot of bad blood going into the bout, this one is sure to be a cracker.
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