Adesanya puts UFC belt on the line in rematch with Vettori
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Marvin Vettori walked to the center of the octagon expecting to have his arm raised. It wasn’t.
Israel Adesanya won the fight in a split decision, yet wasn’t satisfied. The fight was far closer than he expected.
The two middleweights had since been hoping for a rematch and will get it Saturday night at UFC 263, back in the desert three years later.
This time, Adesanya’s championship belt will be on the line.
“I’m here to get revenge from that first fight, whatever it was, and become the first Italian UFC champion,” Vettori said during a heated news conference this week.
Adesanya (20-1) and Vettori (17-4-1) won’t be the only rematch with a title on the line at Gila River Arena.
Flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo will put his belt on the line against No. 1 contender Brandon Moreno in a rematch of a draw at UFC 256 in December. The main card also will include No. 3 welterweight Leon Edwards against fan favorite Nate Diaz, welterweights Demian Maia against Belal Muhammad, and light heavyweights Paul Craig and Jamahal Hill.
Adesanya and Vettori last fought in 2018 in a non-title fight in Glendale. Adesanya was considered an up-and-comer in the division but had his hands full with the heavy-handed Vettori.
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