Glendale, Arizona (AP) —Israel Adesanya won a unanimous decision in a rematch with Marvin Vettori on Huntington Beach to defend the middleweight championship at UFC 263 on Saturday night.
Adesanya (21-1) did not reach out from Vittori’s powerful punches most nights and used his feet effectively to upset the balance of Italian fighters.
Adesanya scored 50-45 on the scorecards of all three judges at the second Full Capacity UFC event, without coronavirus-related restrictions.
He lost to light heavyweight champion Jan Blawowic in his final battle when he tried to add a second title belt, but remains undefeated as a middleweight.
In the joint main event, flyweight Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) will rematch with Daveson Figueiredo (20-2-1) in the third round with a rear naked choke in UFC history. Became the first Mexican-born champion. ..
The two title battles in the desert were contaminated with bad blood.
Adesanya and Vettori fought in Glendale three years ago. Neither fighter was satisfied with the victory of the split decision by Adesanya.
Vettori believed he had won, Adesanya thought it was too close, and the accumulation in the rematch was controversial, including Thursday’s off-the-rail press conference.
Vittori (17-4-1) had some success on the ground in a rematch after two takedowns, as he did in the first fight. Adesanya twisted freely, worked on his feet, abraded the Italian forefoot, and evaded most of the big punches.
Adesanya escaped from another takedown and continued to move Vittori with his feet to defend the title.
Figueiredo and Moreno fought in December, holding the title belt in the Figueiredo corner and rejecting Moreno’s bid to become the UFC’s first Mexican-born champion.
Like Adesanya and Vittori, the two flyweights verbally jab each other in the lead-up of the fight. The intense Figard did his best to get under the lucky Moreno’s skin.
Flyweight No. 1 Moreno chased the Brazilian from the beginning of the rematch and surprised him with a big shot in the first round. He reversed the takedown in the second round, having Figueiredo submit it with chalk in the second and a half minutes of the third round, sending a roaring sound to the rafters.
After the battle, Figueiredo set aside bad blood, hugged him, and picked up the emotional Moreno to please the crowd.
Charismatic welterweight Nate Diaz — he illuminated the joint at a pre-match press conference — returned to the octagon after almost two years of absence and was a favorite of the crowd, but third-placed Leon. He was a big vulnerable by the odds maker to Edwards.
Edwards (19-3) early explained why Diaz was bloody by opening the gouache above his left eye and next to his head in the first untitled five-round battle in UFC history.
A 36-year-old from Stockton, California, he still has a lot of fighting and showmanship, shaking Edwards in fifth place and taking the crowd away.
The British managed to avoid Diaz (21-13) in the last minute, winning the unanimous decision and placing himself in a title that could be shot against Kamaru Usman. Faced with an uncertain future, Diaz invited everyone in the arena to his house after the battle to have a party.
Light heavyweight Paul Craig broke Jamahal Hill’s arm in the first round to open the main card and won the TKO when Hill hit his head and couldn’t protect himself.
Welterweight Bellarum Humad continued with Demian Maia’s unanimous decision.
Israel Adesanya beats Marvin Vittori to defend middleweight title – Press Telegram Source link Israel Adesanya beats Marvin Vittori to defend middleweight title – Press Telegram