- Date & Location: Saturday, June 12 @ Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona
- Odds: Israel Adesanya (-250) vs. Marvin Vettori (+210) via BetOnline
- Prediction: Adesanya via decision
June’s UFC pay-per-view card, UFC 263, takes place on June 12 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The event is top-heavy. Nate Diaz returns to action in a welterweight scrap against Leon Edwards in the middle of the pay-per-view portion of the event. In the co-main event, flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno run back their December matchup, which ended in a draw. In the headlining bout, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya faces Marvin Vettori in a rematch.
Adesanya’s second UFC came opposite Vettori, who had four UFC bouts under his belt when he met Adesanya. Vettori was the first opponent of Adesanya’s 13-fight MMA career who did not get knocked out. Instead, the fight went the distance and Adesanya scored a split-decision win.
Today, Adesanya, who has defended the middleweight crown twice is 20-1 with his only loss coming in his most recent bout. Adesanya dropped a decision to light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz.. Vettori, who i 17-4-1 is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Kevin Holland. He has won his past five fights. Vettori’s last setback was his loss to Adesanya.
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ADESANYA vs. VETTORI 2 PREDICTION & PICK
Adesanya has not lost at middleweight. This will not be the first 185-pound bout he drops.
I know the simple thing to do in this fight is to look at how easily Blachowicz took down Adesanya and kept him down. I beg fans not to make that mistake. Blachowicz is taller, longer, stronger and 20 pounds heavier than Vettori. Also, remember, Vettori did not score any takedowns until the third round in his first meeting opposite Adesanya. The champ stopped Vettori’s first four takedown attempts in that matchup.
I expect this fight to look similar to the first meeting, with perhaps a little more aggression thrown in since both fighters are more experienced and also because this is a title fight.
Prediction: Adesanya -275 via Bovada.
BETTING VALUE WITH ADESANYA
The first meeting between these two went the distance and ended with Adesanya winning via split decision. The closing odds for that contest had Adesanya as a -260 favorite over Vettori, who was a +200 underdog. The odds for the rematch are in the same ballpark.
If you’re like me and think the first fight will look much the same as the initial meeting, then I believe there is value on betting on Adesanya. I also think there is a chance with five rounds that Adesanya could wear down Vettori and score a knockout. After all, the champion has 15 knockout wins.
As for Vettori, if you believe his takedowns and top game have improved and he will mimic what the larger Blachowicz did, then it could be worth it to take a run at Vettori via decision.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
From what we saw the first time these two met, Adesanya has the advantage in striking skill, movement, footwork, feints, defense and all around MMA IQ. Vettori is the stronger man. Most of the time skill beats strength in a fight, but strength can give a fighter multiple chances to win, especially if that fighter can take the abuse the more skilled fighter doles out. Vettori might have losses in the UFC, but he has never been knocked out and never been knocked down during his run with the promotion.
I think Vettori will be more confident in this fight, but I still think he will struggle to hit Adesanya and take him down and keep him down. In the first scrap between these two, Vettori’s significant striking rate was a low 29 percent and his takedown success was 33 percent.
Another thing to be aware of is in this fight is that it is in front of a crowd and a title bout. With Vettori’s best bet to make the contest slow and ugly against the fence or on the ground, a referee might be more willing to break the fighters if the crowd becomes vocal about the lack of action. That also plays into the favor of the champion.
FIGHT STATS: ADESANYA vs. VETTORI 2
|Israel Adesanya||Category||Marvin Vettori|
|3.95||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||4.14|
|2.63||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||2.90|
|0.00||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||2.22|
|0.3||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.8|
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Adesanya’s air of invincibility took a hit when Blachowicz was able to take him down and keep him on the mat for over seven minutes of their recent matchup. Adesanya will be eager to put that loss behind him and remind everyone that fight took place against the man who holds the UFC title at 205 pounds.
Vettori got the opportunity to face Adesanya when ex-champion Robert Whittaker said the turnaround for a June matchup opposite Adesanya was not enough time for him to prepare for a rematch with the champ. Win or lose, Vettori needs to show the fans he belongs in the cage with Adesanya.