We are just ten days away from UFC 263 and fans are getting ready for one of the best cards of the year. In the main event, Israel Adesanya (20-1) returns to the middleweight division to defend his title against a familiar foe in Marvin Vettori (17-4-1).
The two men first fought back in April of 2018. It was just the second UFC fight for Adesanya and the fifth for The Italian Dream. That night, Adesanya was able to win a close split decision over Vettori.
You can re-watch the first fight in it’s entirety here. I believe it was a pretty clear win for Adesanya, but the split decision nature of the win is why this matchup at UFC 263 is so intriguing.
Marvin Vettori was definitely able to have success in their first matchup. Now, that was more than three years ago and both men are so much better than they used to be. Adesanya has risen to the top of the sport by becoming UFC middleweight champion.
Earlier this year, Adesanya tried to become a two-division champion by capturing the light heavyweight crown at UFC 259. Unfortunately for Stylebender, he lost a unanimous decision to Jan Blachowicz.
That said, Adesanya is still perfect at 185 pounds. Since that loss to Adesanya in 2018, Marvin Vettori has also been perfect in the UFC. After that loss, Vettori has gone on to win five in a row to earn him this shot next weekend.
Vettori aims to finish Adesanya at UFC 263
On the heels of his five-fight win streak, The Italian Dream is more confident than ever heading into UFC 263. In speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Vettori made it clear that he wants to win decisively next weekend.
Vettori said, “I want to finish this guy, man. I really want to finish this guy. Leave no doubt. I think I can. But if not, he’s solid you know… He’s slippery and he’s able to get out of positions. If I’m not (able to finish him), I just have to beat him every round. I can’t get any round get close.”
Historically, UFC title fights that are close tend to favor the champion on the scorecards. Vettori understands that and he knows that he needs to make the rounds decisive to leave no doubt.
One thing I know for sure is that Vettori is going to take the fight to Adesanya at UFC 263. It’s not going to be an easy fight for either man. Adesanya is the favorite and he should be, but I fully expect The Italian Dream to push him hard next Saturday night.