Israel Adesanya’s next middleweight title defense has been booked for UFC 263 on June 12th, but it won’t be a rematch with former champion Robert Whittaker, with Marvin Vettori getting the nod instead.
That’s somewhat surprising given that Whittaker looked better than ever during his decisive unanimous decision win over Kelvin Gastelum last weekend, but it turns out that the turnaround date was too quick for ‘The Reaper’ and so he passed up on the opportunity.
That led to Vettori getting the opportunity instead after compiling a five-fight winning streak over the past couple of years to rise up to the No.3 spot on the 185lb ladder.
Along the way the 27-year-old Italian has defeated the likes of Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, Karl Roberson, Jack Hermansson and most recently Kevin Holland just a couple of weeks ago.
Adding extra spice to this title encounter will be the fact that Vettori’s last loss actually came against Adesanya back in April of 2018, but it was a closely contested bout that ended in a split decision verdict.
That was only the second fight in Adesanya’s UFC career, and he’s since gone on to win a further seven fights in a row at middleweight, defeating the who’s who of the division like Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum, Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson in the process.
Adesanya vs. Vettori II joins a UFC 263 card that already has a flyweight title rematch booked between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.