Top contender Marvin Vettori says he wants a title shot against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya with a win at UFC Vegas 23.
Vettori steps back into the Octagon on Saturday afternoon on ABC when he takes on Kevin Holland in a five-round middleweight main event. The 27-year-old Vettori is coming into this fight off of four straight wins, including a notable decision victory over Jack Hermansson in his last fight. Those wins have pushed Vettori into the top-10 of the UFC middleweight division, and he was expected to fight Darren Till in a potential No. 1 contender fight. However, Till withdrew from the fight due to an injury, and Holland stepped in to face Vettori on short notice in the new main event of UFC Vegas 23.
Speaking to TMZ Sports ahead of Saturday’s card, Vettori continued to assert that he should be next in line to fight the champ Adesanya next. Given that Vettori lost a split decision to Adesanya in 2018 — the closest fight that champ has had at 185lbs — the possibility of a rematch is intriguing. Should Vettori get by Holland, “The Italian Dream” believes that he should get the next title shot at his weight class, especially because it seems like a lot of the other top-five fighters keep on getting injured.
“Most of the top-five, they’re injured or they’re not showing up, so it doesn’t count. Like your top-five just on the paper. So I think I deserve the title shot after this,” Vettori said.
“Gonna smash this guy, and then everything will fall into place. I know the focus is the title, and I have to clear my mind, but for now, my focus is on Saturday and to smash this guy, and then we will think about the ‘after’ after.”
The next middleweight title contender will likely come from either this fight between Vettori and Holland, or the winner of next Saturday’s UFC Vegas 24 card between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum.
Do you think Marvin Vettori should get a title shot if he beats Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 23?