Israel Adesanya will defend his UFC middleweight title against Marvin Vettori, the first opponent to go the distance with him, at UFC 263 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday.
MORE: UFC 263 date, start time, odds, PPV schedule, and card for Adesanya-Vettori 2
Adesanya and Vettori met in 2018 when they were both relatively new to promoting MMA. Adesanya was widely recognized as a knockout artist, but Vettori made it all the way and lost by a narrow split decision that is still contested to this day. Since that fight, Adesanya has won the 185-pound title and returned to the division after failing to defeat Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title last March. Adesanya aims to remain undefeated in the division and push back an enraged Vettori.
Vettori has won five in a row since losing to Adesanya. He has dominated opponents with his fight, which has led to four unanimous decisions and a submission victory. His goal is to reuse his takedowns to neutralize Adesanya’s blows and plans to take the title away from his rival.
Here are the betting odds to help you with your selection.
All odds are courtesy of FanDuel.
UFC 263 odds for Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori
Israel Adesanya: -280
Marvin Vettori: +220
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Adesanya is the favorite at -280 with Vettori the underdog at +220. At those odds, one would have to bet $ 280 on Adesanya to make a profit of $ 100. A bet of $ 100 on Vettori would yield a return of $ 220.
Adesanya vs. Vettori prop betting
- Adesanya by (T) KO: +170
- Adesanya by submission: +2600
- Adesanya by decision: +155
- Vettori by (T) KO: +1100
- Vettori by submission: +1100
- Vettori by decision: +420
Prediction Adesanya vs Vettori
Much has changed since Adesanya and Vettori last met. In addition to becoming a middleweight champion, Adesanya has nearly cleared the 185-pound division with wins over Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum and Anderson Silva. He is arguably still the best pure forward in the UFC and has shown significant improvement in his takedown defense. After being turned on his back twice against Vettori, Adesanya has only been knocked down twice, totally, in seven middleweight bouts. Adesanya’s ability to control distance and find a comfortable hitting range has also improved since the last time they clashed.
But Vettori’s confidence has grown with his last five victories. All have been relatively dominant with their maximum control and takedowns among the best in the division. He has also been impressive on defense and has shown a rock solid chin. He’s not a knockout artist by any means, but he’s a useful forward.
His margin of error is relatively small against Adesanya; you will have to find your way inside without getting caught. It’s as unlikely that Adesanya would score a submission as Vettori would knock out the champion. Neither has finished their professional MMA careers, but Adesanya is phenomenal at cheating overzealous opponents, as evidenced by his stoppages by Whittaker and Costa. But given Vettori’s durability and the likelihood that he is looking for a takedown from the opening bell, it feels safer and more valuable to bet on Adesanya to win by decision at +155 rather than directly at -280.
That value is at risk because Adesanya is a phenomenal finisher who creates opportunities to end a fight at any time. And if Vettori is foolish enough to stand in front of him for an extended period of time, he could find himself suffering the first knockout loss of his career.
Ultimately, Adesanya is too skilled at his punches to lose to Vettori, and as long as he continues to show improved takedown defense, he should outmaneuver his opponent and retain his title.
Sporting News pick: Adesanya by decision (+155)