Marvin Vettori

What’s next for UFC middleweight prospect Marvin Vettori?

Italian UFC middleweight prospect Marvin Vettori just had the breakthrough performance of his career last weekend at UFC Vegas 16, as he battered No. 4 ranked Jack Hermansson to a unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-45) victory.

Vettori came into the fight ranked at No. 12, and he now sits at No. 5 currently, while Hermansson dropped back to No. 6. This is a pretty massive jump, it’s very reminiscent of Hermansson taking Jacare Souza’s No. 4 spot in April of 2019 when he was ranked at No. 10 himself.

Marvin VettoriThe improvements Vettori showed us in this fight, primarily his boxing, were absolutely incredible to see.

He’s always been a sound striker, and he’s always been a sound grappler, but to look as good as he did on the feet, not to mention out-grappling Hermansson, something even Jacare Souza couldn’t do, it was one of the best breakout performances we’ll see for some time.

That straight left of Vettori’s is one of the slickest in the game. Mind you, he’s not Conor McGregor, he doesn’t finish his opponents every time he lands it, but he’s so precise with it. That punch just rolls right off his shoulder, it’s like a perfect jab coming from his rear hand, but with more power.

Now, Vettori’s on a four-fight win streak, continuing the first win streak of his UFC career.

Marvin VettoriIn his last three fights prior to this, he won unanimous decisions over Cezar Ferreira (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) and Andrew Sanchez (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), submitted (rear naked choke) Karl Roberson at 4:17 of round one back in June, and now this dominant decision victory over a top five middleweight.

Vettori came to the UFC with a record of 10-2, and had fought eleven of those bouts at welterweight. He won the Venator FC Welterweight Championship in May of 2015, and he missed weight for his first title defense, weighing in at 176.1 lbs.

He was stripped of his title before the fight even took place, but still KO’d his opponent in the first round nonetheless. He moved up to middleweight for his next fight, where he submitted (guillotine choke) longtime Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Igor Araujo at 4:30 of round one.

Next came his UFC debut, where he submitted (guillotine choke) Alberto Uda, again at 4:30 of round one. He lost his next fight to Antonio Carlos Junior via unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29), before defeating Vitor Miranda via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27).

After battling a TUF winner and a TUF finalist back-to-back, Vettori hit a small roadblock and went 0-1-1 in his next two fights, going to a draw with Omari Akhmedov (28-28, 29-28, 28-28), and losing a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) to Israel Adesanya. Since this however, he’s won his last four-straight, and quite dominantly at that.

If you notice, the decisions he won, he won every round, except for one against Hermansson, and every decision he loses, including the draw, he wins at least one round. One judge thought he beat Akhmedov, and he probably should have gotten the nod in that fight, and one judge thought he beat Israel Adesanya.

This top five middleweight contender from Italy is no joke, this kid has some serious potential in our beloved sport. This begs the question, what’s next for Marvin Vettori? He improved his professional record to 16-4-1 by defeating Hermansson, and it’s a sure thing he’ll be thrown to the wolves from here on out.

That doesn’t mean he can’t fight someone ranked slightly lower than him however, being a top five talent at 185 lbs, match ups aren’t always right there, readily available.

The winner of Kevin Holland versus Jacare Souza at UFC 256 would be loads of fun to watch, and it’s a very sensible match up to make. Vettori is a well rounded talent, as are those two. He’s dangerous, as are those two. Holland is only ranked at No. 15 right now, and Souza isn’t ranked at the moment.

Marvin VettoriHowever, Souza hasn’t fought in 13 months and his last fight was at 205 lbs. He’s been a top contender at middleweight since coming over from Strikeforce. Holland, like Vettori, is a surging talent. Prodigy versus prodigy fights are always fun!

The No. 7 ranked Derek Brunson would be a good test to see where Vettori’s at as well. Brunson is one of those talents that will lose to some of the best, and he’ll beat some of the best, it just depends on who it is and how he matches up with them.

The No. 4 ranked Darren Till would be an even better match up. They’re both top five European contenders in the worlds leading mixed martial arts promotion, and they’re similar in a couple ways. They’re both southpaws, and they both love that straight left.

Vettori is much more sound on the mat, being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, but it’s hard to see a fight between these two going to the ground.

Till was initially the man slated against Hermansson at UFC Vegas 16, but was forced out of the bout and replaced by Holland, and then Vettori.

It was a beautiful thing to see Vettori have that kind of performance over someone that’s submitted BJJ black belts in three of his last four wins, and out-grappled the other, that also has eleven knockout victories. Hermansson couldn’t submit Vettori, and he surely couldn’t win the battle on the feet.

Marvin Vettori is really coming into his own, and having just turned 27 years of age, it’s going to be incredibly exciting seeing him continue to improve for the next four years at the least.

A 24-year-old Vettori gave UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya his toughest fight to date, and since, only one man has given him a tougher fight. However, though Kelvin Gastelum gave the champion a tougher fight, all three judges scored that fight for Adesanya, only two scored the fight for him against Vettori.

What’s next for UFC middleweight prospect Marvin Vettori?

author avatar
Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!