Can Marvin Vettori Upset Israel Adesanya in Their Rematch at UFC 263?

Adesanya Vs Vettori 2 UFC 263

Will the Italian Dream Marvin Vettori be able to dethrone the multiple time defending world champion at 185 pounds in the UFC, Israel The Last Style Bender Adesanya?

That is the question on every UFC fan’s mind this fight week preceding UFC 263. The event will be the third live show in front of a crowd and after visiting Florida and Texas, we move to Glendale, Arizona where it will be warm.

Right now, the forecasted high temperature for Saturday is only 110 degrees. It isn’t the heat that gets ya, though. It is the dryness of the air. I have always prided my nose to have never bled until I went to Vegas and no, it wasn’t my first pro Muay Thai practice. It was just the dryness.

I am from Virginia near a river so I have always been used to a wet cold and quite humid summers. There won’t be many fighters if any on this card, though, that have never been to or fought in Las Vegas so the Arizona adjustment shouldn’t be too much of a change.

You can be aware of jet lag and flown before and it still crush you, though. So, keep that in mind, especially for a fighter like Izzy Adesanya who is, of course, coming all the way from under the down under in New Zealand. The Nigerian born Kiwi is coming off of the first loss of his professional career in 21 mixed martial arts bouts. Israel wanted to challenge himself and make the move up to the UFC’s Light Heavyweight Division and take on the champ right away.

Someone should have told him that size matters, though. You would think a 31 year old man would have heard that before but it is what it is. The jump from Welterweight to Middleweight is a big one, 15 pounds, and the move from Middle to Light Heavyweight is an even bigger jump of 20 pounds.

That is almost 10% of these guys’ bodyweight and it isn’t like Izzy is a super strong guy. He is strong to be one of the thinner fighters in his weight class but up at 205, he was too thin to match pure strength with a guy like Jan Blachowicz.

Those Eastern Europeans are just built differently. Izzy’s opponent on Saturday night at UFC 263 isn’t quite Eastern European but he is a big guy and built quite thick. The Italian Dream Marvin Vettori is a bad man and seems to have leveled up since the first time these two men traded bones.

It wasn’t that long ago, either. It has been just over three years but the first fight was a split decision. After going back and watching it, though, I have to agree with the two judges who gave the fight to Adesanya.

Marvin was able to use his wrestling to get Izzy down a couple of times but the Kiwi City Kickboxer was back on his lightning fast feet pretty quickly.

Marvin is a better fighter now, yes, much better but so is Izzy.

I think too many people are giving him too hard of a time for his loss to Jan Blachowicz. Marvin is a big guy but he is nowhere near the size of the Pole, who might have the perfect frame for 205 pounds.

The question we want to answer today is “Can” Marvin Vettori get this upset win over the undefeated at 185 pounds, Israel The Last Style Bender Adesanya?

The Last Style Bender vs The Italian Dream

Hey, great fight here and I have actually heard a lot of folks who know what they’re talking about on the Marvin Vettori train here and I just can’t do it. Maybe if his betting odds get completely ridiculous.

Where are they right now? Well, you can get Marvin for (+225) over at BetOnline.AG. I would like to see something more valuable, though, for me not necessarily to bet on Vettori but to bet against Adesanya, who has never lost at this weight class.

Israel is going to have a massive height and reach advantage over Marvin so if this one stays standing, we have to give the clear advantage to the world class kickboxer, Adesanya. How much of a height and reach advantage, you ask?

He is a full 4 inches taller and will have half of a foot in the reach department over his Italian foe. To borrow from our former president, that is “Yuge”.

6 inches is a lot!

I don’t think Marvin is a better fighter than Robert Whittaker and ole Bobby Knuckles was facing about the same difference in height and reach himself.

We all saw how badly that turned out and then we also bore witness to how good Robert Whittaker really is. He only needed to remind us of how much of a killer he is after seeing how easily Izzy put him away.

Adesanya does rely heavily on his reach.

In his only loss, though, the reach was quite similar and he was at a frame and thickness disadvantage as well. You can’t really compare Jan Blachowicz and Marvin Vettori.

Marvin is a bully. He has technical ability in there but it isn’t nearly on the level of Izzy and I think Adesanya is the much smarter man, at least as far as fighting is concerned.

And I’m pretty sure Israel Adesanya knows this.

Marvin is going to have to walk through some clean strikes in order to get to Izzy and work his clinch and grappling game plan but that is going to require not only skill and durability but also strategy.

Walk through the jab not the power punches and work your angles but all of this is easier said than done.

Marvin is a monster and I dig his no nonsense, forward pressure, crushing bully style. Against a striker as accurate, precise, and powerful as Israel Adesanya, though, I believe he is going to have a bad time.

Please Note:
Vettori might get a takedown or two and maybe he wins a round but Izzy’s length and jab should be the difference in this one. There is also the length advantage in the legs. Adesanya is the far better and most importantly, the more educated kicker.

I think that will be the difference here. Leg kicks and jabs will win Izzy the fight and Adesanya is going to have to use his 31 year old brain and turn off that ego in this one. He said he wants to finish Vettori but I don’t think that is the best game plan.

If it happens, great, but it will behoove The Last Style Bender to focus on controlling the fight firstly and if the opportunity arises to get the finish, then maybe you take a small risk for a large reward but Vettori is very tough and Adesanya is more technical.

Focus on the technical side and the rest will fall into place. As far as a wager is concerned on Izzy, I think I like the decision prop at (+150). We are in the large Octagon + Marvin has never been finished.

Also, when you see two guys talking so much trash to each other, many times the fight is kind of disappointing from an action standpoint because all the trash talking has made them not want to lose more than they want to win.

Fighters have to have egos.

I know as a martial artist, we are taught to dissolve the thing but if you’re going to be a professional mixed martial artist and fighter, then you have to believe that you can beat anybody anywhere and at any time. If you don’t, you’re in the wrong business.

Why do you think I am here right now and not the one in the cage?

I am a little too analytical and honest with myself. I see a guy who is better than me and probably has a stronger mind and heart and I think, well, it’s likely I will lose but I will still fight and try. Cool story, bro.

If you step in there with any shred of doubt, you are already at a massive disadvantage against guys who are extremely confident like these two main event competitors.

I’m sure you guys have heard this little talk before but we can’t forget it. There are guys like me who shine in the gym and not under the lights and there are the Vettori’s and Izzy’s of the UFC who likely shine in both.

I believe Izzy will be smart here so I like the decision method of victory prop bet, especially when the TKO wager only pays out at a slightly higher rate of (+185).

Romero and Gastelum went 5 full rounds with Adesanya and with Izzy committed to maintaining his massive reach advantage, I think the decision prop bet has some solid value. One unit on The Last Style Bender to win this one on the judges’ scorecards.

The Bet
Adesanya by Decision

In Conclusion

Great main event here and I wanted to get this out to you guys early in the week because I have had plenty of time to let this one marinate in my little brain. We also have so many other excellent matchups this week!

The co-main event is another rematch and world title fight and everyone is forgetting about it. Deiveson Figueredo and Brandon Moreno had one of the best fights of the “year” back in December.

It wasn’t that long ago and we all remember it well I am sure because what a war!

It was ruled a majority draw but Brandon Moreno did get some extra love from the judges. I think that is about the best he could have done and the sportsbooks agree.

These two fought to a draw 6 months ago and now the Brazilian is a (-230) betting favorite. So, throw some dough on Moreno? Nah, not just yet.

As for Izzy and Marv, I think it will be a good fight but mostly controlled at distance by jabs, 1-2’s, and leg kicks. Izzy might get after the calf of Vettori early. That is always a possibility in today’s MMA but we haven’t seen that from him before at least not putting guys away with it.

Let’s take Izzy by decision and hope these two respect each other more than they are showing in the cringeworthy interviews.


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Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.

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