Credit / Sky Sports
Israel Adesanya defends his middleweight title against Italian fighter Marvin Vettori in a stacked card at UFC263 in Arizona on Sunday.
The 'Stylebender' comes into the fight off the back of a loss, after an unsuccessful attempt to beat Polish fighter Jan Blachowicz for the heavyweight title in March. Now, he has come back to the middleweight division where he is undefeated and protecting his title.
His challenger Marvin 'The Italian Dream' Vettori (17-4-1), ranked 3rd in the division, is on a hot streak, unbeaten since his 2018 loss to Adesanya.
Things got heated in their recent press conference with the two fighters trading verbal blows.
"I have the advantage because I am the superior fighter," said Vettori.
Adesanya hit back, "Honestly speaking, since we last fought, you can look at the stack of people he's fought and the stack of people I've fought — there's a vast difference."
Adesanya, known for his long-range, intricate fighting style, is favourite to take out the fight. However, Vettori has a strong ground game and high strike defence that should make for an exciting fight.
Fellow City Kickboxing companion Brad 'Quake' Riddell won his fight defeating American Drew Dober on the preliminary card.
After the fight, Riddell paid tribute to MMA fighter Fau Vake who died following a central Auckland assault.
"My friend got murdered two weeks ago, so I was never going to lose this fight.
"I had a driving force that was bigger than me and I'm very, very grateful that I still get to walk on this planet."