Marvin Vettori proved he’s still one of the best middleweights in the world by stopping the momentum Roman Dolidze built heading into UFC 286.
The Italian middleweight showcased a volume striking attack and a signature pace that just kept chipping away at Dolidze round after round. Dolidze definitely had his moments but his output suffered after a fast start and Vettori’s chin held up through every barrage.
In the end, the judges scored the fight 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28 with Vettori getting the unanimous decision victory.
“It was good,” Vettori said about his performance. “First time, my mom came and watched me in the UFC. I couldn’t lose in front of her. Back in the win column. Don’t forget about me. I keep improving my game and I’m proud of all my kicking tonight.
“I’m around. [Jared] Cannonier, [Alex] Pereira, [Israel] Adesanya, line them up.”
There was a lot of heavy leather being thrown between the middleweights with Dolidze hurting Vettori early with a barrage of punches that briefly trapped the one-time title contender against the cage. Vettori survived and he came right back at Dolidze with a solid combination that backed off the Georgian fighter.
Vettori was displaying good technique and very fast hands but the brutish power coming back from Dolidze was just connecting with so much power. A series of overhand rights saw Dolidze blast Vettori several times as he just kept gunning for the knockout with every punch.
As the fight moved into the second round, Vettori really started to increase his output, which allowed him to land at a far more significant number than Dolidze. While Dolidze was still marching forward, he was struggling to really find a home for his strikes while Vettori was showing good patience as he set up jabs and fed him a steady diet of leg kicks.
The output from Vettori continued as he looked to circle away from the power shots and then pick and choose how he returned fire. Dolidze did manage to land some hard shots when he finally cut off the cage and trapped Vettori on his back foot.
As time ticked away to the final horn, Dolidze just started launching bombs while Vettori tried to answer back without leaving his chin exposed. The difference really came down to Vettori just landing more strikes over three rounds, especially with Dolidze struggling to keep up in the second and third rounds.
The win puts Vettori back on track after falling to Robert Whittaker in his last outing as he continues to serve as a threat to anyone and everyone at 185 pounds in the UFC.