The top of the UFC 263 billing was the setting where the promotion’s middleweight king, Israel Adesanya, took every round against his challenger, Marvin Vettori, in their rematch. Izzy was brutalizing the lead leg of his adversary, on top of juts being all around better on the feet. Even though the champion was put on his back a few times, he was able to get back up and fight off a bunch of other takedown attempts. It lor ooks as if Adesanya is running out of challengers at 185-pounds, but did call for a rematch with former champ, Robert Whittaker.
Adesanya quickly got to work with low leg kicks as Vettori pressured forward. Vettori eventually caught one of those kicks and put the champ on his back, but Adesanya scrambled up to his feet and escaped into open space. Vettori uncorked a flurry of punches, but only one landed due to the exceptional head movement of Israel. The champion continued to pepper the leg while staying elusive until the bell.
The second act opened up with more leg kicks from Adesanya, none of which were checked or blocked in any way. Vettori would pressure forward, backing Israel to the cage, but struggled to land once he had him there. He also tried to hit a takedown against the cage, but the champ was having none of it. More leg kicks and feints came from the direction of Adesanya, along with some more successful takedown defense.
Vettori shot in and snagged a takedown to begin the third round. Adesanya was able to hit a reversal to get on top of Vettori, and on his way up he accidentally poked the challenger in the eye. A brief timeout was called, but quickly got back underway. Israel kept lighting up that lead leg of his opponent, finally causing Marvin to buckle. Then, Izzy accidentally kicked Vettori in the cup, resulting in a pause with only seconds remaining in the round.
The champ came out in the fourth round with more damaging leg kicks. Vettori was able to hit a takedown, but Adesanya instantly reversed him and stood back up. Izzy was attacking everywhere with his kicks at this point. He hit to the body, the head, and then would finish up with a hard one to the leg. It’s not that Vettori wasn’t trying, because he was, it’s just that Adesanya is so much more polished on the feet. The round ended with Marvin holding the champ against the fence, with Izzy smacking the ass of his opponent with shades of Randy Couture vs. Tito Ortiz.
Vettori shot in right away to begin the fifth and final frame, but stalled out before finding a takedown. In open space, Izzy continued to prove his superior standup skills, leaving Marvin searching for a way to get any sort of offense going.