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Devil’s Advocate | Marvin Vettori, Biggest Middleweight Threat

Is Marvin Vettori the real deal? I say yes he is.

This past Saturday I witnessed Marvin Vettori systematically pick the number 4 ranked middleweight Jack “The” Joker Hermansson apart. First and foremost, I have to give props to “The Joker.” Everyone can give Vettori all the credit of taking a fight on short notice, but in my eyes Hermansson taking the fight against a completely different fighter compared to the up and coming Kevin Holland who tested positive for COVID-19 deserves recognition. So kudos to both men for taking the fight and entertaining us fans. Before this fight I knew very little about Marvin Vettori, and I was mainly tuned in to see “The Joker,” who was coming off of a very entertaining heel hook victory against division tough guy Kelvin Gastelum. By the end of the fight I was definitely on the Vettori bandwagon. He had already been training to be physically prepared, he was supposed to fight the very next week on the UFC 256 card against BJJ legend “Jacare” Souza. So essentially two men traded opponents, as at UFC 256 Souza is fighting Holland. But from the beginning of this fight, Vettori just looked hungrier.

Marvin Vettori’s boxing looked so crisp yet so explosive, dropping Hermansson in the first round with a beautiful one two combination. Different from earlier Vettori, he stayed composed and went for a submission. He showed us that he definitely has a granite chin, as he ate quite a few of Hermansson’s punches as well, and he showed ultimate composure. Vettori’s takedown defense is so good, a lot of people don’t know but this fight was the first time that Marvin had been taken down since his fight with Antonio “Shoelace” Carlos Jr, and that was the same year he made his UFC debut in 2016. I mean he honestly did everything right in this fight against a very game opponent in Jack Hermansson, who I don’t think loses any credibility by taking this fight on extremely short notice against a completely different fighter in Vettori.

Now with all of that said, where does Vettori go from here? After the fight, Vettori called for a fight against Paulo Costa, who is coming off of an embarrassing loss to Middleweight Kingpin Israel Adesanya. A fight in which Vettori said “would be fun for the fans!” in the post fight interview. A lot of people think that would be a backwards step for Vettori considering Costa is coming off a loss, but I beg to differ. Costa is still ranked #2 in the middleweight division, and I think that Costa is tailor made for Vettori. Both men know how to sling leather, as both men are predominately strikers, even though Costa is a BJJ black belt, it’s not his stronghold and I think Vettori is more active and is a better grappler. But who knows what Dana White and the UFC have in store for Vettori. The whole division is loaded with absolute hammers, from Whittaker to Gastelum, Darren Till to the up and coming Kevin Holland. All four of those guys would match up great with Vettori and all four fights would absolutely be exciting fights, which is one of the reasons I think Vettori is going to be a big problem in the middleweight division. If promoted and managed right could be the next big star in the division.

This is key, Vettori could be the man who has the blueprint to dethrone “The Stylebender.” If you remember these two men met in the octagon back on April 18, 2018, at UFC on fox 29 in what was a much closer fight than most Israel fans cared for. Adesanya looked good picking the right leg of Vettori. Vettori hung in there and with his rhythm at least to me seemed to make Israel uncomfortable and in the end Vettori was hitting him almost as much as he was getting hit, it was a very close, entertaining fight. So close in fact that two judges scored it 29-28 Adesanya and one judge 29-28 Vettori. After that fight he went on a two fight win-streak, first getting a Unanimous decision against Cesar Ferreira, then beating Andrew Sanchez also getting a unanimous decision. After that he kept having bad luck in the matchmaking , with Covid and also fighters missing weight and getting sick and not making it to fight night. But he has never stopped calling everyone out in the division and it just seems like no one ranked in the top ten wants to take the fight because of the threat he brings.

So I don’t know which direction the UFC will go with Vettori, but you can count on one thing, his star is shining brighter than ever after the victory against Jack Hermansson. Please, leave me your opinions in the comments section.

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