BREAKING: Israel Adesanya to Defend His Title at UFC 263 on June 12

Published 04/24/2021, 1:11 PM EDT
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 13: (L-R) UFC President Dana White places the interim middleweight championship belt on Israel Adesanya after defeating Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision in their interim middleweight championship bout during the UFC 236 event at State Farm Arena on April 13, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his belt against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. The middleweights will rematch as they have fought earlier in 2018, with Izzy earning a split decision win. The UFC 263 pay-per-view will also feature the rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.

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Adesanya last competed at UFC 259 as he moved up to the light-heavyweight division to challenge champion Jan Blachowicz, where ‘The Last Stylebender’ was handed the first professional loss of his career. But he is still the middleweight champion, and his next defense will be against ‘The Italian Dream’.

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Many expected former champion Robert Whittaker to be next in line after his showcase performance against Kelvin Gastelum last weekend. However, Vettori did his bit as he defeated Kevin Holland recently.

Vettori is currently on a 5-fight winning streak. He remains the only fighter in the middleweight division to win on one judge’s scorecard against Adesanya. So, the match-up between the duo obviously makes sense.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 10: (R-L) Marvin Vettori of Italy takes down Kevin Holland in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on April 10, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Whether he can get the win in the rematch remains to be seen. His body of work was enough to earn him the title shot. However, becoming the champion will be a different thing altogether.

Can Israel Adesanya retain his middleweight throne?

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Many believe Blachowicz brought the blueprint to beat Adesanya to the world. His lack of resistance in the grappling and wrestling exchanges against the 205 lbs champion should encourage a lot of fighters in the 185 lbs division. Vettori has a mixed skill set, including methodical striking and grinding grappling.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: Jan Blachowicz of Poland celebrates after his victory over Israel Adesanya of Nigeria in their UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

But Adesanya can hypnotize his opponents with his striking like nobody else. Vettori knows what he will be up against, having already fought ‘Stylebender‘.

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What do you make of the latest title fight addition to UFC 263? Can ‘Stylebender’ defend his middleweight belt? Let us know.

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Apratim Banerjee

706 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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