In the main event of UFC 263, we saw a rematch for the middleweight title. The undisputed champion Israel Adesanya (20-1) returned to the middleweight division to take on a familiar foe in Marvin Vettori (17-4-1).
Back at UFC 259, Adesanya attempted to become a two-division world champion by moving up and challenging Jan Blachowicz. Ultimately, Blachowicz handed Adesanya his first professional loss and Adesanya came up short in his attempt to become a champ-champ.
Now, The Last Stylebender returned to his home weight class where he’s been perfect. Nobody has ever defeated Adesanya at 185 pounds and that includes Marvin Vettori. The two previously met in the UFC back in early 2018.
Adesanya won a split decision and to this day, Vettori believes he won the fight. Since then, both men have gone on impressive streaks. Vettori has strung together five consecutive wins to earn this shot at UFC 263.
UFC 263 Recap
The UFC 263 main event starts without a touch of the gloves. Vettori takes the center of the octagon and eats a leg kick from Adesanya. Adesanya lands another calf kick as he circles on the outside. Lots of pressure from Vettori.
Jab lands for Marvin Vettori, but Adesanya lands another powerful kick. Two good kicks land for Vettori and more pressure from the challenger. Adesanya throws a kick, but Vettori catches it and lands a takedown.
Full guard here and Adesanya tries to work his way to the fence. Heavy pressure from the challenger here. Adesanya uses a scramble to get back to his feet. However, Vettori maintained a body lock and pressed Adesanya against the fence. Adesanya shrugs him off and they’re back striking.
Another leg kick lands for Adesanya. 1-2 just misses for Vettori. Vettori is using a lot of pressure, but eats another leg kick. Jab lands for Vettori and Adesanya almost lands a big shot. Big left for Vettori, but Adesanya counters with a big combination.
The UFC champion starts moving forward and throws a head kick that’s blocked. Another calf kick for Adesanya. Stiff jab for Adesanya lands and Vettori whiffs with a left. Leg kick for Vettori lands. Razor close round one, but I lean towards the champion.
First round could’ve gone either way at UFC 263. Vettori takes the center to start the second, but he eats two consecutive massive leg kicks. Lots of pressure from Vettori, but he’s eating some counters here. Vettori hitting air here in the second.
Another leg kick from the champion finds it’s home. Two jabs land for Vettori, but again, he eats a big kick. Another leg kick and Vettori gets deep on a double leg attempt. However, Adesanya defends well and keeps it standing.
Adesanya breaks the body lock and were striking. Vettori pushes forward, but he’s not hitting Adesanya. He’s a bit out of reach. Jab lands for Marvin Vettori, but Adesanya gets out of the way of the big shots. Good counters land for the UFC champion.
Both men trade jabs as Adesanya circles. Buckling leg kick lands for Adesanya. Vettori pushes forward and lands a jab before trying for another takedown. However, Vettori cannot get Adesanya down. The round comes to a close and it’s 2-0 Adesanya at UFC 263.
There was a serious sense of urgency in the Vettori corner here at UFC 263. Vettori gets in deep on a takedown attempt to start the third and he gets Adesanya down. The challenger gets half guard and has heavy pressure here in the third.
Adesanya looks to hip-escape while Vettori looks to pass. Vettori lands some shots to the body. Adesanya tries to spin, but Vettori has his back. Vettori looks like he’s got a rear-naked choke. It looks deep for a second, but Adesanya spins right out.
Adesanya then takes the top position and stands up. After an eye poke break, were back to striking. Good lead uppercut lands for Adesanya and a heavy leg kick behind it. Another brutal leg kick from the champion.
Vettori lands a stiff jab and he’s really pressuring the champion here. Big leg kick again lands for the UFC champion. Another one that buckles Vettori. However, Vettori keeps pushing forward. Another leg kick from the champion.
The challenger is looking a little fatigued and a leg kick sits him down. However, Vettori gets right up and pushes forward again. Good moments in the third for Vettori, but I have it 3-0 Adesanya after three at UFC 263.
It’s do-or-die talk in the challenger’s corner here at UFC 263. The fourth round starts with more pressure from Marvin Vettori. He tries for a takedown, but nothing is home. Adesanya throws a big combination that just misses.
Vettori has him against the fence, but Adesanya just circles away and lands a leg kick. Adesanya lands another leg kick and Vettori shoots for a takedown. Vettori is deep on a shot and he gets the takedown. However, Adesanya uses the fence to reverse the position and they’re back to striking.
Powerful leg kick from the champion. Good lead right hand lands for Vettori who pushes Adesanya against the fence. However, Adesanya just shrugs him off. Head kick then leg kick lands for the champion. Jab lands for the challenger.
Low kick lands for Marvin Vettori. Both men trade low kicks, but obviously Adesanya’s did more damage. Body kick for the champion. Huge combination lands for Adesanya and Vettori pushes forward.
Vettori uses a ton of energy to try and land a takedown, however, Adesanya defends. The fourth round comes to a close and it’s a shutout for the UFC champion on my personal scorecard.
Entering the final round at UFC 263 and Marvin Vettori needs a miracle here. Vettori pushes forward with pressure to start the fifth and he looks for a takedown. He gets Adesanya against the fence, but the champion defends well.
Vettori is just holding Adesanya against the fence and he gets a warning from the referee. Lots of boos from the crowd here. Adesanya gets the separation and were striking. Head kick lands for the champion and Vettori pushes forward.
1-2 lands for Marvin Vettori. Double jab lands for Marvin Vettori, but none of the strikes are doing much to the champion. Another big leg kick lands for Adesanya. Combination lands for the champion.
Adesanya is trying to find a finishing blow, but Vettori is defending head shots well. Jab lands for Marvin Vettori. Vettori shoots in for another takedown and he gets to the back of Adesanya briefly. However, the champion stands right back up.
A minute left here and little offense from Vettori. The referee separates the two men and Vettori goes back to the pressure. Another leg kick lands for Adesanya. 1-2 for Adesanya. The fight comes to a close and it wasn’t eventful, but it was a shutout at UFC 263 for the champion.
Israel Adesanya def. Marvin Vettori by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)