The rematch between UFC Middleweight Champ Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori will take place in a very interesting location. Phoenix, Arizona, sources told MMA Island on Sunday.
Vettori would later confirm the report on his podcast.
And no, its not unique (sorry Phoenix) because its in the middle of the desert or because its surrounded by cacti. It once held the now-historic first fight between top prospects Adesanya and Vettori back in April 2018.
The match that sparked the rivalry would take place inside the Gila River Arena, in Glendale, which is a few minutes away from downtown Phoenix. The bout between the rising middleweights would take the co-main event spot, right underneath a classic in Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje, both future (interim) champions.
Little did people know that Adesanya would become the undisputed king within a few fights or would ‘The Italian Dream’ be on the verge of greatness, being the first Italian fighter to ever challenge for a UFC title.
The first fight between Adesanya and Vettori would see the first time “The Last Stylebender” ever went the distance. He had a 100% finish rate in his 13 fights prior, however Vettori would put a blemish on that KO streak, being the first opponent to take him to the scorecards. Not just the scorecards, but to a split decision as well.
Vettori clearly took round 3, dominating the Kiwi on the ground, however was outstruck on the official numbers in rounds 1 and 2. Adesanya would throw some shade on the judge that scored the fight for Vettori, saying he was under the influence of drugs. Vettori would disagree with Adesanya, beaming with confidence that he beat the undefeated fighter.
Fast forward 3 years later and the two hot prospects are now at the very top of the division, fighting for the title in the place where it all started…. Phoenix Arizona. Poetic on the UFC’s end, truly. It feels like a movie.
Also on the card, will be a co-main event that features another rematch. 2020 fight of the year candidates Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will go to war again after their first fight at UFC 256 ended up as a draw.
While the UFC has its city destination, it is uncertain at this time at what venue UFC 263 will take place in. The UFC are currently discussing Gila River Arena (which held Adesanya vs Vettori 1) as a possible candidate. However, nothing is set in stone just yet about which arena will host the UFC’s return to The Grand Canyon State.
The highly anticipated event is expected to have fan attendance.