Israel Adesanya returns to the middleweight division to defend his title at this Saturday’s UFC 263. Adesanya attempted to become the UFC’s eighth two-division champ in his latest bout, but he came up short by losing to the Light Heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz via unanimous decision.
Falling to Blachowicz did more than just hand Adesanya his first loss in his professional career, it also laid out the blueprint on how to beat him.
This weekend Adesanya will attempt to defend his middleweight championship for the third time since becoming the king of the 185-pound division when he KO’d Robert Whittakker in October of 2016. He’ll be facing challenger Marvin Vettori, who he previously defeated via split decision in 2018.
Vettori, who at the time became the closest man to handing to give Adesanya his first loss, will be coming into this fight with an increased level of confidence knowing what the path to victory will be for him.
Adesanya got off to a good start in his light heavyweight title fight, but Blachowicz began to wrestle him and “The Last Stylebender” had no answer for it. Blachowiz landed three takedowns, and had over seven minutes of control over him on his way to winning on the judges' scorecards.
This is good news for Vettori, who thrives when he uses his wrestling. He also found success in his first fight against Adesanya doing exactly that, as he landed two takedowns and had control of Adesanya for 3:18 of the 15 minute fight. Now with an extra two rounds at his disposal due to it being a championship fight, Vettori has both the skillset and the time to grind down his opponent with his wrestling.
WynnBET has Vettori set as the +200 underdog, which presents fantastic value against the champion Adesanya (-275).
The old adage of “styles make fights” has been proven true time and time again. This weekend will be no different.