Kicking off the main card tomorrow night at UFC 286 is a battle in the middleweight division. Former title challenger Marvin “The Italian Dream” Vettori (18-5-1) returns as he takes on the surging top contender Roman Dolidze (12-1).
This will be the first time we’ve seen Vettori since his bout with Robert Whittaker last year. In the five-round headliner, Whittaker was able to get the victory dropping Vettori to 1-2 in his last three fights. Granted the losses came against Whittaker and Israel Adesanya.
If you take out the Whittaker and two Adesanya fights, Vettori is 7-0-1 in his last eight fights. Only losing to the best of the best. Now, he will be tasked with derailing the hype train of Roman Dolidze. Dolidze entered the octagon at 6-0 and won his first two fights.
However, he then lost a decision to Trevin Jones. Since that fight, he’s been perfect. A perfect 4-0 and he’s finished three of the four fights. He’s a bit wild with his striking but he can afford to be with his tremendous skills on the ground.
UFC 286 Prediction
Dolidze is such a wild card and he has a very unique style. Again, he can be wild on the feet but he has such good grappling skills that it allows him to get away with a lot of mistakes on the feet. That said, I think he’s going to need to have a few things break his way in this fight.
I think Marvin Vettori’s Fight IQ is something that could play a big factor in this one. Vettori is going to stay patient and do what he has to do to score points and keep Dolidze in check. I think we will see a steady volume attack from Vettori on the feet and a lot of clinch work.
I have a hard time seeing a path to victory for Dolidze by decision. On the other hand, I can completely see Marvin Vettori winning a 30-27 decision tomorrow night just outstriking with volume and having more control in the clinch. At UFC 286, I don’t see Dolidze ever getting going in a way that makes us believe Vettori is in real danger.
Prediction: Marvin Vettori by Decision