The UFC is finalizing a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori for UFC 263, per UFC president Dana White.
Contracts have not been signed, but the 185-pound name fight is expected to headline the UFC’s pay-per-view event on June 12. The UFC has not yet announced a venue for that occasion.
Adesanya (20-1) is coming off a failed bid to become the UFC’s most recent dual-weight winner. The 31-year-old contested light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 on March 6 at vegas. The bout was competitive, nevertheless Adesanya missing a unanimous decision. That result had no impact on his standing as the UFC’s middleweight king.
Struggling out of New Zealand, Adesanya already holds a success on Vettori from April 2018. He conquered Vettori via split decision in just his second UFC appearance.
Vettori (17-4-1) is now riding a five-fight win series, including a determination win against Kevin Holland in his latest performance two weeks back. The Italy native arguably had one of their best performances of any UFC middleweight against Adesanya, as one judge scored their three-round contest in his favor.
Former winner Robert Whittaker will face the winner of the June contest, White told ESPN.
Many expected Adesanya’s next title defense to come against Whittaker, the former champion who only beat Kelvin Gastelum in a main event last weekend. Based on White, June was too fast of a time framework for Whittaker to turn around. Whittaker told ESPN following his last fight that he needed some time to evaluate any possible harms, such as a beat-up shin.