Marvin Vettori has a second straight main event victory under his belt and now he’s calling for a shot at gold.
At UFC Vegas 23 on Saturday, Vettori put on a workman like performance to take Kevin Holland down repeatedly over five rounds to ultimately win a one-sided unanimous decision on the scorecards. All three judges gave Vettori the nod with 50-44 scores across the board as he wins his fifth consecutive fight in a row overall.
After going to split decision with reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya back in 2018, Vettori wants another shot at him but with five rounds to work this time and the UFC title on the line.
“Listen, I’m not too happy with what I did in there,” Vettori said during his post-fight interview. “I wanted to finish this guy and I wasn’t able to but it was a dominant win. I’m not the happiest right now but I keep winning, I keep progressing and I do it dominantly.
“I want Adesanya next. October, I want to fight him. I think I deserve it. I have the longest win streak right now. I put on winning performances. Dominant performances. I want this title.”
Vettori did his best to make that argument with his latest win as he dismantled Holland on the ground, despite the best efforts from the always outspoken middleweight to shake off a loss in his last fight.
As soon as the fight started, Holland was quick to engage with Vettori on the feet as he snapped off several stiff punches in the early exchanges. In an attempt to slow down Holland’s pace, Vettori closed the distance to begin working from the clinch and then dragging the fight to the ground.
While Holland continued to showcase the better striking on the feet, he was struggling to keep Vettori away from his body and legs as the Italian middleweight kept looking for takedowns.
Vettori was able to bully Holland on the ground as he maintained top position and just peppered away with punches to continue pouring on the punishment. By the end of the second round, Holland had considerable swelling over his left eye from the constant barrage of ground strikes delivered by Vettori.
The path to victory for Vettori was clear as he kept cutting off the cage, swooping inside and then looking for the takedown as he continued executing a grueling game plan to keep Holland stuck on his back.
While Holland was definitely struggling to stay on his feet, he did manage to pop Vettori with a few stinging punches any time he could manage to operate at distance. Unfortunately for Holland, those opportunities were few and far between.
As the final five minutes started ticking away, Vettori was just taking Holland to the ground at will, shredding his defense and then operating from the mount. Even when Holland managed to slip free to get back to his feet, Vettori was immediately grabbing onto the waist and dragging him back to the mat.
By the time the horn sounded, Vettori had landed 11 total takedowns, which was a new record for the 185-pound division in the UFC.
Vettori has consistently called for a rematch against Adesanya ever since their first fight ended in a split decision but now he’s doing everything possible to put himself into position to stand out from the crowd as he seeks his first title shot in the UFC. It remains to be seen if he’ll be granted that opportunity but Vettori obviously believes he’s done more than enough to get a second shot at “The Last Stylebender.”