This Saturday, the MMA world would witness one of the highly-anticipated fixtures of the year when Israel Adesanya takes on Marvin Vettori for the second time and, whether coincidentally, in the same venue. Both men fought for the first time in 2018 where Israel won the fight by split decision, meaning two judges voted 29-28 in favour of Israel while the last voted 29-28 for Vettori. As usual, such a fight is always controversial as many people do not always agree with the result.
This Saturday, however, both men would face themselves again at the Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona. Since their last fight, a lot has changed. For instance, Adesanya now has the UFC Middleweight Championship title and would be defending it for the fourth time. This would be his first title defence of the year and his second fight of the year as well. Back in March, Adesanya faced Jan Blachowicz in the light heavyweight division, losing the fight via unanimous decision. But critics praised Adesanya for staying on his feet till the last second, despite the fact that he did not gain additional weight for the fight, for the fact that he was fighting in another division. That fight gave Adesanya his first professional career loss out of 21 fights.
The 2018 loss to Adesanya was Vettori’s last loss as he has won five fights after that. Back in April, he defeated Kevin Holland by unanimous decision. He has four losses and one draw from a career spanning 22 fights.
Both Adesanya and Vettori are not in the same place as they were in 2018. But one thing is sure; they are both tough fighters. Adesanya has only grown more ruthless, as evident in his March adventure in the light heavyweight decision. Surviving five rounds against a fighter like Blachowicz just shows how much of a resilient fighter he is. But Vettori should not be counted out, however. Anyone who has seen his recent fights, particularly the one against Jack Hermansson last December, which won fight of the night.
It is a pretty matched-up fixture but only one man would be the winner at the end of the day. Adesanya is clearly the favourite for the match while Vettori has the underdog position.
Written by: Leon Osamor