Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori first clashed in 2018 at UFC on FOX 29. Adesanya outlasted Vettori, defeating 'The Italian Dream' via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). The victory marked the first career decision win for 'The Last Stylebender'.
Subsequently, Israel Adesanya went on to capture the undisputed gold strap in the 185-lbs bracket, while Marvin Vettori stacked up five consecutive victories.
In his last UFC outing, number three-ranked Vettori made a strong case for another shot at Adesanya with a lopsided victory over up-and-comer Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 23. Inspired by fellow African-born champion Kamaru Usman's recent title defense at UFC 261, Israel Adesanya has accepted the rematch proposition.
At UFC 263, Adesanya and Vettori will lock horns once again. Only this time, the stakes are going to be much higher than their previous meeting. With the middleweight title being on the line, fans can expect a totally different outcome compared to Adesanya vs. Vettori 1.
Here, we discuss three such reasons why Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2 promises to be a completely different scrap:
#3 Marvin Vettori has made significant breakthroughs since UFC on FOX 29:
Despite being the +195 betting underdog, Marvin Vettori has proved himself to be a force to reckon with in his last five bouts. Since his razor-thin split decision loss to Israel Adesanya, the 26-year-old has maintained an impressive undefeated streak.
According to UFC stats, Marvin Vettori could only land 29% (46 of 154) significant strikes against Israel Adesanya in 2018. The Italian fighter has clearly improved his striking game, which was evident in the Jack Hermansson bout at UFC Vegas 16. Vettori's striking accuracy leaped to 49% (164 of 334) against 'The Joker'.
Judging by a much more poised striking game, Vettori seems to have learned his lesson from his last octagon defeat. The southpaw fighter will likely not rush in with heavy combinations to eventually get countered by Israel Adesanya in the rematch.
#2 Marvin Vettori can pick Kelvin Gastelum's brain for a solid gameplan
Kelvin Gastelum fought Israel Adesanya for the interim middleweight championship at UFC 236 in 2019. The barn-burner was loaded with fireworks, so much so that the fight was hailed as a fight of the year nominee by the promotion.
Israel Adesanya faced tremendous adversity to overcome the unrelenting pressure from Gastelum. Although the Kiwi champion ultimately won the battle, Gastelum certainly displayed his never-say-die attitude inside the cage. The Mexican-hailing fighter landed 95 significant strikes and even rocked Adesanya with a flush left hook in the first round.
Gastelum caught many of Adesanya's lancing body kicks and even threw a head kick of his own in round four, which wobbled the Nigerian-born fighter.
Forthcoming title challenger Marvin Vettori, who trains alongside Kelvin Gastelum at Kings MMA, can certainly gain insights into evading Adesanya's counter-striking abilities.
#1 Marvin Vettori is eager to avenge his loss to Israel Adesanya
The buildup to UFC 263 has been an intense back-and-forth between Marvin Vettori and Israel Adesanya. Vettori is of the notion that MMA media has hyped 'The Last Stylebender' way out of proportion. Vettori believes Adesanya is a one-dimensional fighter, possessing prowess in only a single facet of MMA, namely striking.
Speaking to Combat MMA, Marvin Vettori blasted Israel Adesanya, expressing his eagerness to re-enter the cage and avenge his 2018 loss to the Kiwi champion.
"This guy won't even mention my name. He'll throw hints at me doing shit like this, trying to get me mad. And he doesn't even say my name, he says 'the Italian guy,'" said Marvin Vettori.