UFC 263 mixed martial arts tournament concluded in Glendale, Arizona, USA. The main event of the show was the middleweight title fight. Belt holder Israel Adesanya fought old acquaintance Marvin Vettori. The two had fought in the past in April 2018. Then Adesanya won by split decision.
Almost everyone thought that Israel’s fight, until recently, was the hardest of his fighting career. But in March 2021, he lost to Jan Blachowicz. He was trying to get a title in the featherweight division and lost. One wondered if Adesanya would be able to recover from the loss. And one wondered if he could deal with it psychologically.
Vettori hadn’t lost in 26 months. He had a five-fight winning streak. He last fought against Adesanya, so he was confident going into the fight and trying to get people’s attention by being aggressive towards his opponent.
The second five minutes of the fight
The second five minutes of the fight went very badly for Vettori. He was able to land a few jabs, but that wasn’t as good as what Adesanya was doing. Yes, Yisrael also defended against take-downs, but he was also a great counter puncher and delivered many punches. After such a bad stretch, Vettori got pumped up emotionally between rounds.
Vettori showed his ability to defend by trying to grab Adesagna’s leg. But the latter let him up and continued to fight from a comfortable position. In the course of the fight, Israel accidentally poked his opponent in the eye with a finger. Marvin took a short break, but did not take advantage of it by taking all of it.
After the break in the fight, Adesanya started to beat up Vettori. He made him tired. It was either his eye injury or that he got tired from being on his back too much, but Adesanya was really good at this. He mixed low kicks with high kicks, hit hard uppercuts and straight punches. The end of the round had a bad part when Yisrael hit Vettori below his belt when he was down again and then the horn sounded for a break in their fight again.
The Fourth round
Round four was when Vettori landed most of the punches. Adesanya again used low kicks and high kicks. It is unclear what was happening to Marvin’s leg, but by the middle of the fight he had already taken over 20 hard punches to his calf muscle. Maybe that is what caused Vettori to not be as aggressive in round four.
Marvin tried to take a point from his opponent. But if he did, Israel would get up and then hit him again. At the end of the fourth round, Israel pinned his opponent at the net, in a clinch, he tried to find another point and in the meantime Israel didn’t do a very nice thing by mocking him by slapping him.
In the fifth round, Vettori finally got down. His straightforward and monotonous attempts at a takedown infuriated the audience. Adesanya, on the other hand, realizing he had the upper hand, was getting cocky. Israel openly mocked and taunted his opponent.
He pretended that Vettori poked him with his finger. But then he laughed and said that he was joking. When Marvin beat his hands just above Adesanya’s knee, the latter pretended to be in pain on his face. He was just pretending to make Marvin feel bad. Then the siren sounded.
All the judges unanimously let Israel win with a huge score – 50:45, 50:45, 50:45. It should be noted that after announcing the verdict, Adesanya still gave credit to his opponent and shook his hand. However the self-confidence and cockiness of the champion didn’t disappear. After the fight he said that he was ready to meet Robert Whittaker.