Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori fought to a split decision back in 2018 as unranked prospects. Tonight, in the same building, Adesanya once again picked up the victory, retaining the UFC middleweight title by decision once again. This time, however, the winner was more clear to the judges, as all of them scored all five rounds for “The Last Stylebender”.
Israel Adesanya def. Marvin Vettori via Unanimous Decision (50-45 x3)
Vettori seemed to have nothing for Israel Adesanya in the striking department all night. While Vettori did get some takedowns early on, Adesanya either quickly got up or reversed position each time. Frustration and fatigue seemed to mount for the Italian as time went on, who also was on the receiving end of a number of devastating leg kicks that hindered his movement. Adesanya continued to pick him apart on the feet while Vettori eventually became less and less successful with takedown attempts.
After the fight, Adesanya and Vettori spoke on two separate occasions, with both discussions being relatively tense. According to Adesanya in the post-fight interview, Vettori told him that he thought he had done enough to beat the City Kickboxing fighter. While judges and fans alike disagreed, Adesanya clearly did not appreciate gain any respect for him.
Israel Adesanya also lined up his next fight, albeit with a stipulation. He called for a rematch with his “arch-nemesis”, Robert Whittaker, seeing him as earning the top contendership once again. Adesanya knocked out Whittaker in 2019 to unify the middleweight belt in Whittaker’s home country of Australia. This time, if COVID allows, he wants the fight to take place on his home turf in Auckland, New Zealand. And he believes that will come to fruition for one main reason.
“Because I’m the motherf–ing champ, b—h.”