UFC 263: Big Moment In The Career Of Champ Israel Adesanya
For Israel Adesanya, returning to middleweight to defend his UFC title at UFC 263 presents a major career-moment.
From his UFC debut in 2018 through this past March, Israel Adesanya appeared to be untouchable.
Adesanya, the reigning UFC middleweight champion, met his match back at UFC 259 when Jan Blachowicz dominated him for 25 minutes to retain his light heavyweight title.
The 20-1 superstar returns to 185 pounds this weekend to defend his belt against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. The fight is a rematch of a 2018 meeting that ended in a split decision for Adesanya.
Not only is it another chance to humble Vettori, it could serve as a key moment in the career of “Stylebender.”
After picking up a decision victory vs. Anderson Silva in 2019, Adesanya began his rapid climb up the ladder. He bested Kelvin Gastelum to win the interim belt and unified it with a knockout of Robert Whittaker in Australia.
Successful title defenses over Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa made him 20-0 and gave Adesanya the right to move up and challenge Blachowicz.
It did not go well.
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But in terms of 185-pound fighters, there might not be a better one walking the planet than Adesanya.
He can do it all, and has in those wins over the likes of Silva, Whittaker, Gastelum and more. Vettori presents an interesting challenge because – outside of the loss to Blachowicz – it is the only fight that ended in anything short of a finish or unanimous victory.