With UFC 263 fast approaching, the headlining fighter, Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, enters his bout with Marvin Vettori following his first professional loss to Jan Blachowicz.

Photo: Getty Images

With Izzy moving back down to Middleweight to defend his title, he takes on his toughest opponent to date in the Middleweight division.

These two had fought previously, with Izzy just barely defeating Vettori via split decision.

Despite the fight not being a loss, it was the only true hiccup on Adesanya’s way to capturing Middleweight gold.

What can we expect from the champion following his first career MMA loss with the rematch fast approaching?

Adesanya is not a stranger to defeat, having lost numerous kickboxing bouts before he entered into MMA. That being said, his undefeated status was partly the selling point of his most recent victory over Paulo Costa. On top of the rivalry the two had been creating on social media, they had each entered the fight undefeated, with the tagline for the fight being “someone’s 0 has got to go.”

Parlaying that victory into an attempt to achieve “double-champ” status did prove unsuccessful for Izzy, but he has still never been beaten at 185. Izzy will absolutely look to make a statement in his next defense, but a bruiser stands in his way.

Marvin Vettori has been on a five-fight winning streak since his loss to Adesanya in 2018 and has achieved the number three rank in the UFC’s official rankings. Vettori is not a spectacular knockout artist or an incredible player on the ground, but he has a consistent and balanced game everywhere. He also has incredible cardio, which he showcased in his five-round unanimous decision victory over Kevin Holland in April. Vettori will be able to match Izzy’s energy and style wherever the fight takes place.

Seeing as Izzy’s specialty is striking, Vettori will stand and trade with Adesanya for as long as the fight goes. More than any fighter Izzy has faced at 185 thus far, Vettori will be the biggest challenge for the Middleweight Champion.

Israel Adesanya is still a world-class fighter despite suffering his first career loss.
Adesanya will put his top-tier skill on full display at UFC 263, but Vettori will be there to match his skill in an attempt to dethrone the champ.

Featured Image: Getty Images
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