Marvin Vettori's rise has been impressive. From forcing a decision against Israel Adesanya to controlling and dominating Jack Hermansson, the Italian has shown immense promise ever since he first entered the octagon. At the age of just 27, he is a future star in the UFC’s middleweight division.
‘The Italian Dream’ debuted on MMA’s biggest stage in the summer of 2016. Having amassed a 10-2 professional record leading up to his UFC signing, Vettori’s seven submissions made him one to watch on the ground. It took just one round to show his skills on the canvas, submitting Alberto Uda with a guillotine choke at UFC 202. He was just 22 years old at the time.
Now sitting with a 6-2-1 UFC record, Vettori finds himself teetering outside the 185lb top-five. Another win could push the Trento-born fighter into title contention.
Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland - UFC on ABC 2
Marvin Vettori had been set to face Darren Till at UFC on ABC 2 this Saturday. In a gutting turn of events for Till and the entire UFC fanbase, the Liverpudlian suffered a broken collarbone in training.
On one weeks’ notice, Kevin Holland will face Vettori, just three weeks after his five-round main event with Derek Brunson.
With such a short notice opponent, and given Holland’s performance against Brunson, Vettori heads into the main event as a significant favorite. The Italian will perhaps not gain as much with a win over Holland and has more to lose with a defeat than the matchup with Till presented.
Nevertheless, Vettori still has the chance to further impress on the main event stage. With that said, with a look at refreshing our Marvin Vettori memories, here are his three best performances in the UFC so far.
#3 Marvin Vettori vs. Cezar Ferreira - UFC Fight Night 155
There aren't many better ways to bounce back after a defeat and 15 months away from the cage than this. Marvin Vettori controlled and battered Cezar Ferreira.
After being beaten by Israel Adesanya in what was his second UFC defeat, the Italian bounced back in his very next fight and showed why he had been so highly touted.
Comfortably taking down a man who previously could rarely be dragged to the mat, Vettori was dominant on the ground and significantly out struck the Brazilian. One MMA statistician shared the increasing differential between the pair's connecting significant strikes:
Vettori's win over Ferreira was the start of an impressive run leading up to his main event clash with Kevin Holland this weekend. Three wins followed, across a period in which Vettori established himself as a household name for MMA fans.
#2 Marvin Vettori vs. Karl Roberson - UFC Vegas 2
Against a powerful man and talented striker in Karl Roberson, Vettori was dominant. With a chance on the co-main stage, the Italian recorded a satisfying win in a matchup that had a hefty ton of animosity behind it.
The fight had been scheduled to happen a couple of times before the pair met at the Apex. When they finally entered the cage together, the bout wasn't to reach further than the opening round.
Against a striker, Vettori looked comfortable on the feet. After forcing Roberson to change levels, he had his one and only period of adversity. With his back taken and an arm around his neck, Vettori showed his groundwork. He fought back with an impressive scramble and found himself on top, pounding Roberson with vicious strikes.
Vettori ensured his frustrations at Roberson for missing weight and the bad blood that existed between them didn't affect his performance. It was cool, calm and collected. Even when he found himself in a bad position, he worked his way out with ease before executing his game plan.
It was a dominant performance and signaled that he was a serious threat in the division.
#1 Marvin Vettori vs. Jack Hermansson - UFC Vegas 16
Marvin Vettori's arrival as a middleweight contender couldn't have come in more convincing fashion. Going five rounds for the first time in his MMA career, Vettori looked like he knew exactly what he needed to do against Jack Hermansson and executed it perfectly.
The two Europeans slugged it out in what was a main event war. The Italian and Swedish-born Norwegian broke the UFC's five-round middleweight record for significant strikes, dealing a combined 286. The previous record had been held by Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. Those are the kinds of names this win put Marvin Vettori among.
Against a top-five opponent with a 21-5 record and a recent win over Kelvin Gastelum, Marvin Vettori wasn't at all phased. Ranked 13th at the time, Vettori had finally been given the big name he was after.
Having dropped 'The Joker' in round one, the Italian looked like he might achieve a finish. It was probably beneficial for him not to, as he was able to gain experience fighting for 25 minutes.
Having won on the scorecards, Marvin Vettori put in a mightily impressive performance, which showed he belonged right at the top of the weight class.