Israel Adesanya has retained his middleweight championship title after defeating rival Marvin Vettori at UFC 263 on Saturday, June 12.
In their first meeting three years ago, Adesanya defeated Vettori by split decision. His opponent however insisted that he won the 2018 fight and never stopped calling for a rematch.
In the rematch, the result was far more definitive; Adesanya showed off his improvement in defending takedowns while also carving up his opponent with pinpoint striking. Vettori had only a few successful moments in the fight, scoring with a handful of takedown.
In the end, Adesanya took every round on all three official scorecards, winning by scores of 50-45 across the board. Adesanya has now successfully defended the 185-pound championship three times and rebounded from a loss in his previous fight, an attempt to become a two-division champion when he went to light heavyweight to face 205-pound champion Jan Blachowicz.
After his victory, Adesanya called for a rematch with Robert Whittaker, the man he defeated to become champion. He said;
“Whittaker, my arch-nemesis, Bobby. I don’t know what the f— is gonna happen with COVID. We need to run that back in Auckland, in my territory this time. I’ll tell you what it is, I get to decide, you don’t get to decide, because why? I’m the motherf—ing king, bitch.”
Prior to the fight with Vettori, Adesanya had shared a screenshot of a message he got from his opponent’s fan. The fan was hurling racial slurs at him, ahead of the fight with the Italian fighter.