Marvin Vettori picked up his second win in a row by picking apart Andrew Sanchez with strikes throughout the duration of their fight at UFC Tampa.
In a prelim bout, middleweights Marvin Vettori and Andrew Sanchez battled in a grudge match. The two were scheduled to face off a month earlier in Vancouver but Sanchez was forced to pull out of the contest during the week of the fight due to an eye infection. The withdrawal from the bout, caused Vettori to become very upset and the two have bickered back and forth during the lead up to the new scheduled bout at UFC Tampa. The two even almost came to blows during the weigh-ins, after Vettori pushed Sanchez.
Vettori entered the fight on the heels of a win over Cezar Ferreira. The victory for the Italian was after he served a six-month suspension for a USADA violation. Sanchez came into the bout looking to extend his winning streak to three. He defeated Markus Perez in August of 2018, and then followed it up with a victory over Marc-Andre Barriault in May.
Vettori came out in the southpaw stance while Sanchez stood orthodox. The Italian fighter opened the action with a combination that backed Sanchez up. The younger fighter began to taunt Sanchez while continuing to land hard shots on the former Ultimate Fighter winner. The Kings MMA team member landed a nice step-in knee and followed up with more shots from range. The Italian Dream kept unloading with several hard combinations, which Sanchez had no answer for. Sanchez got his head snapped back once again and hit with two hard knees. El Dirte didn’t respond with strikes but instead barked at him calling for more shots. He shouldn’t have done this as Vettori gave him what he wanted and backed him up with another series of hard punches. Sanchez shot in for a takedown near the end of the round but the Italian easily brushed off the attempt as the round ended.
CageSide Press scored the round 10-9 Vettori
The action picked up right where it left off with Vettori continuing to bring all the action including another perfectly placed step-in knee. Sanchez began to press forward throwing wild haymakers but nothing landed. The American finally landed a clean overhand right but was still getting controlled by his counterpart. Sanchez stood in the range that Vettori wanted and was just getting blasted with clean shots. Finally, he shot in on a single leg and was blocked easily once again and punished with a hard combination. Sanchez tried to press forward to end the round but just continued to walk into punches from Vettori as the round ends.
Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Vettori
Sanchez came out aggressive to start the round and did hit Vettori with a nice spinning back fist. The 26-year-old shook his head as it didn’t hurt and started to land his own shots once again. He attempted a takedown of his own, but couldn’t get Sanchez down. The Ultimate Fighter winner hit Vettori with another spinning back fist but couldn’t knock Vettori out. The Italian appeared to not be hurt and began to pop shot Sanchez once again. He buckled Sanchez with a body shot but the American wouldn’t go down. The last 90 seconds saw both fighters exchanging hard strikes including some heavy kicks to the body from Vettori as the round and fight came to an end.
Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Vettori (30-27 Vettori)
Marvin Vettori def. Andrew Sanchez by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)