Nigeria’s Israel Adesanya returned to winning ways with an outstanding five-round performance on Sunday, defeating Italian contender Marvin Vettori at the Gila River Arena in Arizona.
Adesanya successfully defended his UFC middleweight title with a unanimous decision victory – 50-45, 50-45, 50-45.
Despite the fact that the fight had clearly gone Adesanya’s way, the two briefly exchanged words after the final horn, with Vettori claiming to have done enough to win the fight.
Adesanya’s victory is his third title defense after losing to Jan Blachowicz in a bid to add the light heavyweight title to his collection.
Adesanya’s groundwork improved as he expertly untangled himself from all of Vettori’s takedowns.
The 31-year-old, regarded as one of the best strikers in the division, landed several leg shots and jabs as he ended Vettori’s dream of becoming the first Italian UFC champion.
It is the second time both fighters have met in the UFC, with Adesanya winning by split decision in their first meeting in April 2018, the Nigerian’s second outing in the UFC franchise.
Both fighters had heated social media talks, but Adesanya had said that he was prepared to defend his title and rule middleweight, after failing last March to secure the Polish Jan Blachowicz lightweight title.
He had earlier promised to knock the Italian out in the second round, but the fight ended in Round five.