London, England — At UFC 286 this past Saturday, the fans were treated to a middleweight bout between former training partners, something that made the lead up to the fight an exciting one.
After coming up short against Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori (19-6-1) found himself fighting down the rankings again, this time against Georgian bulldozer Roman Dolidze. In Vettori’s past few fights, we have come to learn that he isn’t going to go out lightly and that his chin is tried and tested.
Paulo Costa threw the kitchen sink at “The Italian Dream” in their fight back in 2021, but the Italian passed with flying colours, showing that he still has a part to play in the middleweight title picture.
Having said that, he admitted after his win over Dolidze that he needs to ‘develop a little more smartness’ in his fighting style.
“I kind of want to go through the best of my opponent to then come out on top. I’ve got to develop a bit more of a smartness in my fights.
“I kind of go where they’re best at and then I still want to beat them, it’s an ego thing but it’s not smart in fighting but I’m winning so I suppose it’s okay,” Vettori said, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight.
Still on the right side of 30, Vettori will undoubtedly be fighting at the top of the division for the foreseeable future. As he has said before, he wants to work his way back up to a title fight. “I believe I still need a few more fights and I don’t mind that. Of course the way I am I want to rush to the title and [Alex] Pereira would be a great fight for me. With that being said I’m right there. When you’re in top five it doesn’t matter if you’re number 1, 2, 3 or 5, you’re in the top 5.
“But if the occasion arrives and you’ve got some momentum behind you can catch that occasion and maybe win the fight there’s a lot of examples of that.
“The only fighter I didn’t fight in the top 5 yet is Cannonier, maybe that’s what’s next,” Vettori suggested.
A win over Jared Cannonier could give Vettori an argument for a second title shot, after losing to Israel Adesanya in 2021 (the pair also met in a non-title affair in 2018). Vettori will no doubt be a keen observer of Izzy’s rematch with Alex Pereira next month.
Watch the full UFC 286 post-fight press conference with Marvin Vettori above.