London’s UFC 286 in March has just seen a key middleweight fight added to the line-up.
Former 185lb title challenger Marvin Vettori (18-6-1) will face Roman Dolidze (12-1) at the event, which is set to take place at the O2 Arena in London, England on March 18, 2023.
ESPN was first to report news of the booking; Dolidze subsequently confirmed the match-up on social media. Per ESPN’s report, the fight is close to being finalized.
The match-up will see the #4-ranked Vettori paired up with the #8-ranked Dolidze, in a fight that could further either man’s title hopes. With Alex Pereira recently dethroning Israel Adesanya, all bets are off in the middleweight division.
Vettori will be looking to return to the win column in the fight, after losing a unanimous decision against Robert Whittaker at UFC Paris in September. Prior to that, “The Italian Dream” had picked up a decision win over Paulo Costa, in a fight that was contested at middleweight after Costa entered Fight Week heavy.
Italy’s top UFC fighter, Vettori twice faced Israel Adesanya, once with the 185lb title on the line. Both fights went the distance, with Vettori losing a split decision in the pair’s first meeting, and a unanimous decision in their second.
Georgia’s Dolidze has won four straight fights, and is 4-1 in the middleweight division after dropping down from light heavyweight 2021. Dolidze is 6-1 in the UFC overall, and most recently defeated Jack Hermansson at UFC Orlando, after stepping in to replace Derek Brunson on short notice.
No other fights have been reported for UFC 286 thus far.