Israel Adesanya drops back down to middleweight to put his title on the line against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263 in Las Vegas.
Israel Adesanya v Marvin Vettori UFC 263 Predictions & Tips
‘The Last Stylebender’ is the current UFC middleweight champion after beating Robert Whittaker back in 2019.
He drops back down to middleweight after trying his hand in the light heavyweight division when he tried his luck against Jan Blachowicz in March earlier this year.
His quest to become a double champion was thwarted as Blachowicz claimed a unanimous decision after five rounds. That was Adesanya’s first defeat as a professional, and although it cannot really be classed as a failure, he drops back to his normal weight to defend his title for the third time.
Adesanya’s two title defences have seen him beat Yoel Romero on points and claim a knockout victory over Paulo Costa. This isn’t the first time he has faced Vettori, so he kind of knows what to expect.
These two met in Glendale, Arizona back in 2018 with Adesanya claiming a split decision to secure his 13th victory as a professional fighter. It is safe to say that both fighters have improved since their 2018 meeting, but I believe Adesanya is still streets ahead of Vettori.
Vettori has lost four of his 22 fights by decision, which shows he is very difficult to knockout. Since losing to Adesanya, the Italian has won five fights in succession – including unanimous points wins over Jack Hermansson and Kevin Volland which earned him this title opportunity.
Adesanya is a very difficult fighter to beat, and I think he will be too powerful and clever for Vettori. Despite beating Holland, Vettori was not at his best and he needs to be that and some to see off Adesanya. I expect this one to go the distance, but Adesanya will get his arm raised at the end and remain UFC middleweight champion.