Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori meet for the second time, only on this particular occasion, the stakes are much higher than before. The UFC middleweight title belt is on the table, and settling some old scores, which have been raising many questions. The Italian was the only fighter who pushed Adesanya to the brink. Izzy won via split decision, but that outcome was highly controversial at the time, with the majority of the MMA fans (and the experts as well) believing that the judges have made a massive mistake once reaching a final verdict. Ever since Vettori has been eager to get his chance for revenge, and it seems that he couldn’t be in a better position now because, with a win, he gets the title as well.
Adesanya (-230) lost his last match, but that was the light heavyweight title bout against Jan Blachowicz. It seems that Izzy rushed into this challenge a little bit and that he really didn’t have enough “resources” to beat the much bigger Pole. It was his first loss in 20 events and something that, according to many, ruined his chance to be the greatest UFC fighter of all times.
Of course, Adesanya doesn’t think like that, and he is ready to bounce back and prove all of them wrong. He might not be prepared to conquer the light heavyweight class, but the Last Stylebender is still untouchable in the middleweight division.
The way he sliced Paulo Costa is a perfect example of how Adesanya takes care of business. Keeping the distance with leg kicks, using his athleticism and reflexes to inflict deadly blows, all that while being perfectly calm.
Vettori (+250) took the loss against Izzy personally, and after that, rose to become one of the best middleweight fighters in the UFC. He always stressed out that that particular defeat presented a reservoir of immense motivation, and was pushing him to go beyond limits.
Since then, the Italian recorded five consecutive victories, beating Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, Karl Roberson, Jack Hermansson, and most recently, Kevin Holland.
Vettori is the guy who always goes forward and who is willing to take a lot of punishment to reach his goal. He is extremely stubborn, but his rock-solid chin is something that allows such behavior. The Italian Dream, as the fans call him, is an excellent striker, but also possesses fantastic grappling knowledge. If you remember, that was one of the ways how he gained some advantage over Adesanya in their previous matchup.
Even though Izzy stands as a big favorite, and many of you think that the best choice here is to bet his win, we have some other suggestion – betting on the match going to the distance. Eight of the last nine bouts Vettori had ended with a decision, while on the other side, five of the previous eight Izzy participated saw the same conclusion.
These two guys know one another very well, and won’t be that eager to open themselves and try to be aggressive or offensive-minded. We predict the fight to be totally the opposite, slow, calm, and with lots of tactics involved.
The odds on this pick are -120.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.