Nigerian-born Israel Adesanya defeated Marvin Vettori to retain his middleweight title with a comprehensive unanimous decision in the main event at UFC 263 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It was a comprehensive showing from Adesanya, who got back to winning ways after losing to Jan Blachowicz in a light heavyweight title fight at UFC 259.
It was a re-match between Adesanya and Vettori, with the Nigerian winning via split decision in April 2018. There question over the result of that bout, but that was certainly not the case this time.
Adesanya showed his class as he picked apart his Italian opponent with stinging calf-kicks, pin-point accuracy with his punches and a much improved take-down defence.
Following the bout, Adesanya dedicated his victory to his teammate Fau Vake, a promising up-and-coming fighter who died in May from injuries sustained in an alleged attack in Auckland, New Zealand.
“I just want to say Fau Vake, Fau Vake, Fau Vake, I love you, man… This fight I dedicate to you, Fau,” said the Nigerian-born fighter.
Adesanya then said he wanted his next title defence to come against Australia’s former champion Robert Whittaker, but on the condition that the fight takes place in Adesanya’s hometown of Auckland after Adesanya dethroned Whittaker in Melbourne in their first meeting at UFC 243.
“Whittaker, my arch-nemesis, Bobby,” he added. “I don’t know what the (expletive) is gonna happen with Covid. We need to run that back in Auckland, in my territory this time. I’ll tell you what it is, I get to decide, you don’t get to decide, because why? I’m the (expletive) king, bitch.”