Check out UFC 263 tips for the main event – the rematch between UFC Middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and lionhearted Italian Marvin Vettori.
- Adesanya – 20-1 (15 by KO/TKO)
- Vettori – 17-4-1 (2 by KO/TKO)
- Adesanya – def by Jan Blachowicz @ UFC 259, March 2021 (UD)
- Masvidal – Vettori – def Kevin Holland @ UFC on ABC, April 2021 (UD)
Analysis: The UFC 263 headliner sees Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori square off for the second time – and again the setting will be Glendale, Arizona. But this time Kiwi-Nigerian superstar Adesanya is eyeing off the third successful defence of the UFC Middleweight Championship.
When the pair clashed in 2018, Adesanya was making just his second appearance under the UFC banner. His star was already on the rise, but Vettori – who had been with the UFC for a couple of years – pushed him all the way before Adesanya won via split decision.
It was the closest ‘The Last Stylebender’ had come to a loss in his career, until he went up a weight division in March and lost to Jan Blachowicz by unanimous decision for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Adesanya has dominated the middleweight division. After winning the interim UFC Middleweight title in early-2019, he unified it by knocking out Robert Whittaker at UFC 243. The 31-year-old defended the belt against Yoel Romero in March last year (unanimous decision) and Paulo Costa in September (second-round TKO).
He’s currently fourth in the UFC’s Pound-for-Pound rankings.
Vettori primed to turn the tables on Adesanya
Vettori has won all five of his bouts since that loss to Adesanya, the fourth of his career. The 27-year-old Italian has enjoyed a productive past 12 months, beating Karl Roberson (submission), Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland (both unanimous decision).
Censorship needed 🤬
— UFC (@ufc) June 6, 2021
Submissions account for more than half of Vettori’s 17 career wins. He will look to apply constant forward pressure and execute takedowns, allowing him to unleash his top-shelf grappling ability.
While Adesanya was outmuscled by Blachowicz, the defeat did little to diminish his standing in the UFC. He is still the most devastating striker in the middleweight division and an expert at keeping the distance between himself and his opponent – certainly more so than when he last met Vettori.
“I finish fights” – KenFlo voice. https://t.co/6388lq3zmD
— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) June 8, 2021
Adesanya is a deserving $1.38 favourite – it’s hard to see him getting beaten here, despite Vettori’s admirable qualities. Vettori has never been knocked out, however, and should be able to go the distance again.