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Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2 targeted for middleweight title fight at UFC 263

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Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is expected to return to action at UFC 263, and he’ll put his title on the line against a familiar foe as Marvin Vettori gets his first shot at gold.

Multiple sources close to the situation confirmed the matchup was in the works when speaking to MMA Fighting on Saturday following an initial report from Combate. UFC president Dana White also confirmed plans for the fight on June 12 when speaking to ESPN.

While contracts are not signed yet, it appears all parties have agreed to the date as Adesanya returns to middleweight after coming up short in his bid to become a two-division champion after falling to Jan Blachowicz earlier this year.

Outside of that lone setback to the 205-pound champion, Adesanya has been perfect in the UFC while largely running roughshod over the middleweight division. Back in 2018 in just his second fight for the promotion, Adesanya won a razor-close split decision over Vettori in a hotly contested matchup.

Adesanya went onto become champion and he remains undefeated at middleweight but now Vettori is looking to even the score while also attempting to take Adesanya’s title.

The Italian middleweight is currently riding an impressive five-fight win streak including lopsided wins over ranked opponents Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland in his previous two outings. Vettori hasn’t tasted defeat since losing the split decision to Adesanya three years ago.

The middleweight title fight joins a UFC 263 lineup that also includes Deiveson Figueiredo putting his flyweight championship up for grabs in a rematch against Brandon Moreno. The location for UFC 263 has not been announced yet, but it’s expected the promotion will seek an arena where fans can be in attendance.