This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 263, Marvin Vettori (17-5-1) got his shot at the middleweight title. Vettori took on the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (21-1) in a rematch from their first fight back in 2018.
In 2018, Adesanya was able to win a split decision. That split decision result actually gave Marvin Vettori a ton of confidence heading into UFC 263. That result and seeing how Jan Blachowicz beat Adesanya earlier this year had Vettori believing his victory was inevitable.
However, it wasn’t meant to be on Saturday night. Adesanya just seemed a step ahead of Vettori all night. Vettori had his legs chewed up by brutal kicks from Adesanya and Vettori really wasn’t able to get Adesanya to the ground.
There were a couple of times where Vettori landed takedowns, but nothing much resulted from them. In the end, all three judges at UFC 263 gave every round to the defending champion and Adesanya retained his title.
What’s next after UFC 263?
Since 2017, Marvin Vettori has gone 6-2-1 in his nine UFC fights. The lone man to defeat him twice is Israel Adesanya. That puts Vettori in a really tough spot in the division because even if he goes on a winning streak, a third fight is a really tough sell.
That said, what should be next for The Italian Dream? Well, after UFC 263, Vettori said that he wanted to fight Paulo Costa (13-1). Costa hasn’t fought since last year when he was dominated by Adesanya at UFC 253.
Paulo Costa has also said online that he would like to fight Marvin Vettori next. Given where both men stand in the UFC’s middleweight division, a fight between the two makes sense. They’re both near the top of the weight class and they are both coming off of title losses.
Costa has been going back-and-forth with the UFC over his pay and pulled out of his fight with Jared Cannonier to protest. At the end of the day, Costa really doesn’t have any leverage and I think he’ll ultimately be booked for a fight soon. My guess is that fight is going to be against Marvin Vettori.