This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC Vegas 75, we saw a battle between two top four middleweights. Former title challengers went head-to-head as “The Italian Dream” Marvin Vettori (19-6-1) took on “The Killa Gorilla” Jared Cannonier (17-6).
Both men were looking to stay relevant in the 185 title picture with a big statement win. For both men, they’ve proved that they belong at the very top of the division. However, both men have slipped against the likes of Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. Because of that, they both needed a big win to try and re-establish their case for another crack at the top.
In the first round on Saturday, Marvin Vettori looked really good. He was doing good job of sitting down on his straight shots and even wobbled Cannonier a couple of times. The first round was a clear round for The Italian Dream. However, things went south quickly in the second round.
Cannonier started using his footwork and put a ton of pressure on Vettori. In addition to the pressure, he was throwing clean combinations with an incredible amount of power. Vettori’s iron chin was tested but he got hurt throughout on the round and was thoroughly dominated. It was a 10-8 round on the scorecards.
The rest of the fight featured more of the same, but Vettori didn’t shy away. While he was getting hit with the bigger and more powerful shots, the former UFC title challenger kept coming and never went away. Ultimately, toughness isn’t enough to get the job done and he lost a unanimous decision.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 75?
This is a big setback for Marvin Vettori. On one hand, you can say, ‘How is it that big of a deal to lose to the fourth ranked contender?’ but on the other hand, you can look at the fact that he’s now just 2-3 in his last five fights. With Alex Pereira moving up to light heavyweight, you can take him out of the middleweight rankings picture.
That would make the top three including the champion: Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, and Jared Cannonier. Marvin Vettori is a combined 0-4 against those three with two losses coming to Adesanya. The first fight with Adesanya was competitive, but for the most part, the other three fights were not.
It’s clear that Marvin Vettori is a top UFC middleweight. However, it’s also clear that right now he’s a step behind the top three and it’s going to take multiple wins to get him back in the title conversation given that fact. So, where does he go from here?
It’s not clear whether or not Derek Brunson will fight again, but should he chose to, he makes sense for Vettori was a reset fight. I could also see Vettori facing the loser of the Robert Whittaker – Dricus Du Plessis fight next month. Maybe even a fight with Khamzat Chimaev to welcome Chimaev to 185?
There’s not a ton of great options, but those are the most feasible ones at the moment for Vettori.