UFC star, Israel Adesanya has bounced back from the defeat in his heavyweight debut to retain his middleweight title on Sunday morning.
The Nigerian-born fighter defeated Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision at UFC 263 at Gila River Arena in Arizona.
Adesanya was handed his first career defeat by Jan Blachowicz in their light heavyweight fight by unanimous decision in Las Vegas three months ago.
But he prevailed against Italian Vettori in Arizona, taking the fight 50-45 on all three scorecards. Both men had met before in 2018, when Adesanya also won by split decision.
Victory on Sunday takes Adesanya’s professional record to 21-1. It also marks his third successful defence of his middleweight crown.
After the result was officially announced, Adesanya dedicated his victory to his teammate Fau Vake, a promising up-and-coming fighter who died in May from injuries sustained in an alleged attack in Auckland, New Zealand.
“I just want to say Fau Vake, Fau Vake, Fau Vake, I love you, man… This fight I dedicate to you, Fau,” he said.
In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno defeated flyweight belt-holder Deiveson Figueiredo in their rematch to become the UFC’s first Mexican-born champion.
Moreno, who shared a majority draw with the Brazilian in December, submitted Figueiredo via a third-round rear-naked choke.
Elsewhere, Leon Edwards survived a late wobble to defeat Nate Diaz on points. The Jamaican-born fighter, the No 3-ranked contender at welterweight, dominated until the final minute, before a straight left from Diaz rocked him significantly. Edwards, though, stayed the course, to triumph 49-46 on all three judges’ cards and lift his win streak to 10.
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