Originally, Marvin Vettori was scheduled to fight Darren Till but an injury gave way for Kevin Holland to step in as a late replacement. Naturally, Vettori is heavily favored to defeat Holland in their upcoming main event clash.
If Marvin Vettori does what he's expected to do and blows Holland away, he's a logical contender for Israel Adesanya's middleweight title, after either Robert Whittaker or Kelvin Gastelum gets a shot.
Should everything fall into place and Marvin Vettori gets a title shot, is he good enough to capture the UFC middleweight championship? Let's just say that the future is looking very bright for the Italian.
Here are five reasons why Marvin Vettori can become the next UFC middleweight champion:
#5 Marvin Vettori is on fire
Momentum will be on Marvin Vettori's side as he has won four straight, with his most recent win coming against Jack Hermansson. Vettori hasn't lost since his first meeting with current UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya.
Kevin Holland, on the other hand, is coming off an ugly five-round decision loss against Derek Brunson. To make matters worse for Kevin Holland, his most recent fight took place merely three weeks before his date with Vettori.
Safe to say, the odds are significantly stacked in Marvin Vettori's favor. If he can make it five in a row against Kevin Holland, he should get his title opportunity sooner rather than later.
#4 Marvin Vettori has all the tools
Marvin Vettori is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division. The Mezzocorona-native combines high-pressure striking with tremendous grappling and submission skills.
Historically, fighters with a more complete set of skills go on to become dominant UFC champions. Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones and Frankie Edgar relied on their excellent stand-up and ground game to rise to the mountain top of their respective divisions.
That's not to say that Marvin Vettori is already at the level of those guys. But like them, he has a solid all-round game which he could further develop and use to ascend as a champion in the Octagon.
#3 Marvin Vettori isn't afraid of Israel Adesanya
Marvin Vettori believes he already has what it takes to dethrone Israel Adesanya if he's awarded a rematch. For a challenger, that's a very important mindset to have.
"I feel like I can beat the world champion today and there's so much room left for improvement," Marvin Vettori told TMZ Sports.
Vettori then criticized the UFC middleweight champ for what he claims is a lack of boldness on Adesanya's part:
"I know Israel and I said it over and over: He's not a courageous guy. He's really not a courageous guy. He takes steps where he knows he can step forward. And in a sense, in a strategy of war, that's a smart thing to do. But being courageous is a different thing. He's not courageous. He's definitely not courageous."
It's highly possible that Vettori made those remarks just to mess with Adesanya's mind. But one thing's for certain. Vettori is unfazed about potentially facing a provoked Adesanya down the line.
#2 Marvin Vettori almost defeated Israel Adesanya
Being unafraid of Israel Adesanya is one thing, getting the job done against him is another. During their first fight in 2018, Marvin Vettori almost did.
Vettori battled Adesanya for five rounds and ended up on the wrong end of a split decision. The New Zealand national squeaked out with a win as judges Chris Hayes and Derek Cleary scored the bout 29-28 in his favor. Meanwhile, judge Chris Lee scored the contest 29-28 for Marvin Vettori.
If one of Hayes or Cleary saw the fight differently, Marvin Vettori could have handed Adesanya the first loss of his professional MMA career.
#1 Marvin Vettori is still young
Finally, beating Adesanya isn't Marvin Vettori's only path to the title. If Marvin Vettori can't outclass Adesanya in the Octagon, maybe he can just outlast him.
At 27 years old, Vettori has at least five more years at his physical peak. Adesanya, on the other hand, will slowly begin to enter his post-prime phase at 31.
Because of his youth, Vettori will have enough time to try and capture UFC gold before his career ends. If he can't beat Adesanya, he could just wait for the 'Last Stylebender' to retire before competing for the UFC middleweight title again.