Every great fighter needs a foil. Manny Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez. Georges St-Pierre waged war with Matt Hughes. Israel Adesanya (20-1-0) has Marvin Vettori (17-4-1), the man who many claim has given him his hardest fight. Adesanya gets to silence all of that as he headlines UFC 263 and puts his UFC Middleweight Championship on the line
The UFC’s Vegas odds have Adesanya at -260 to beat Vettori again while the comeback on the “Italian Dream” is +200. Their first fight was close, but as plenty of rematches have indicated, this one could be unrecognizable as Adesanya makes it clear he’s not in the same league.
- Date: Saturday, June 12, 10 p.m. ET
- Venue: Gila River Arena, Phoenix, AZ, United States
- Watch on: Pay-Per-View
Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori 2
Weight Class: Middleweight (185)
Rounds: Five (Championship Main Event)
Odds: Marvin Vettori +200, Israel Adesanya -260
There is definitely bad blood here. Adesanya and Vettori do not like each other and are ultra-competitive. But we can expect both to stay focused and stick to their game plans when the fight starts.
Both have contrasting styles and will have opposing plans to win. It depends on which fighter gets to better execute their gameplans. Either way, this one should be an intriguing rematch and potentially the best fight this month.
Vettori: The Unlikeliest Champion?
You have to hand it to Vettori. The guy worked his way up to a title shot when he’s been no more than just another guy. But the Italian Dream has been unbeatable since losing to Adesanya and he’s steadily gotten better.
Vettori’s biggest strength is his grappling though you wouldn’t know that based on how he fights. He loves to stand and trade at a high work rate. His 4.14 significant strikes landed per minute is among the highest among fighters with at least five UFC fights.
But Vettori’s grappling, where he lands 2.22 takedowns per 15 minute average, will be his key to victory. He narrowly lost to Adesanya because he managed to take him down and control him a bit. With his improved striking, he can better dress his wrestling and is growing as a 2-1 underdog.
Adesanya: Out For Blood
Despite his loss to Blachowicz, Adesanya is still 20-0 as a middleweight and has only had two fights where he looked vulnerable. He’ll look to avenge the first one as he disposes of Vettori more decisively.
The Stylebender will sport a six-inch reach advantage along with a speed and technique edge. With a switch stance, Vettori’s southpaw shouldn’t be as troubling to him. Absorbing just 2.63 significant strikes per minute, Adesanya is one of the least hittable fighters as he continues to confound everyone including other advanced strikers.
If he’s aiming to take care of Vettori for good, he’ll need to continue keeping him at a distance. Vettori won’t be able to shoot from too far and if he closes the distance incorrectly, he’ll get countered to oblivion. As an ever-evolving fighter, you can bet online that Adesanya has learned a lot from his loss to Blachowicz and will be ready for Vettori.
Fight Pick: No Controversies
Plenty of rematches look vastly different from their predecessor and this should be one of them. Both Adesanya and Vettori were green when they fought each other. While they’ve both grown, Adesanya has managed to beat wrestle-boxers like Kelvin Gastelum and Yoel Romero.
While Adesanya did not dominate those fights, he won clear-cut decisions. But against Vettori, not only does Adesanya face a fighter he already knows but one who brings a style he’s also seen many times.
Adesanya will keep Vettori at a distance and pick him apart with his striking. Vettori will look to kick Adesanya and shoot for takedowns, but Adesanya will make him pay the price when he goes to that well too much.
Once Vettori starts feeling the sting of Adesanya’s shots, the Stylebender will take over and piece him to an undisputed decision.