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Israel Adesanya defeats Marvin Vettori to retain middleweight title

Relive 1 NEWS' live updates of the middleweight title clash between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.

Israel Adesanya lands a kick to Marvin Vettori's head during their middleweight title clash at UFC 263. Source: Getty

DECISION:

ISRAEL ADESANYA WINS BY UNANIMOUS DECISION!!! HE REMAINS THE UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION.

As Brad Riddell did, Adesanya dedicates his victory to his late sparring partner Fau Vake, who passed away after being assaulted in Auckland last month.

"Like Brad said, one of our boys, one of our guys on the way up to the UFC got murdered. Let's not mince words, he got murdered by some thugs who are still walking around free.

"Fau Vake, I love you man. Willy, John, James, all the Vake fam, all love. This fight I dedicate to you Fau," Adesanya said, before laying the belt on the floor and kissing the mat.

Round five: Vettori's trainer tells him he has to give it everything in this final round in order to beat the champion. But early in this round it looks like he's run out of gas. He doesn't have the energy to take down Adesanya. With 90 seconds to go Vettori tries once more to drag Adesanya to the ground but can't do it. Adesanya lands a heavy kick to the head with 20 seconds to go, and lands another couple of leg kicks in the final seconds just to top it off.

Round four: Vettori slowly drags Adesanya to the ground again, but Stylebender immediately flips him and gets back on his feet. Adesanya lands another couple of kicks to Vettori's leg and head. The Italian strikes a couple of shots, but Adesanya keeps hammering away with those kicks. Vettori tries once more to get Adesanya down to the floor but is unable to do so, Adesanya riding out the round up against the fence.

Round three: Down two rounds, Vettori takes down Adesanya early, he wraps him into a chokehold but Adesanya escapes! He gets back up on his feet and throws a big punch to Vettori's head, before the Italian trips him up. Both fighters scramble to their feet. Adesanya keeps chopping at Vettori's right leg and it looks like it's beginning to wear down the Italian. He lands another kick to the leg and this time Vettori drops to the ground, albeit only momentarily. Vettori has just been unable to really land anything so far. Adesanya accidentally kicks Vettori in the groin at the end of the round and apologises. Will be interesting to see how the judges scored that round.

Round two: Adesanya connects on a kick to Vettori's neck early in the round this time. Vettori pushes Adesanya up against the wall and tries to drag him to the floor, but he's unable to do so. Like a cobra, Adesanya feints, avoiding jabs, hooks and kicks from Vettori, before counter-attacking and chopping at the Italian's legs. Vettori tries another takedown but Adesanya elbows him, loosening his release enough to escape. Adesanya connects with two more kicks before the siren sounds at the end of the round.

Round one: The pair trade chops before Vettori grabs Adesanya's leg and takes him to the ground. It looks like he's going to use the same tactic Jan Blachowicz did against Adesanya, using his superior mass to keep him down. Adesanya manages to escape and get back on his feet. He shakes his head. Vettori unleashes a quick flurry but only connects once. Late in the round Adesanya fires back, landing punches and nearly connecting on a whipping kick.

WALK OUTS: 

The lights go out before the arena is lit up by a green hue. Adesanya walks out with a Vietnamese straw hat on and a mask covering half his face. Stylebender never fails to entertain. He'll be fighting in black shorts.

Here we go, the main event - Vettori is making his way to the octagon first, draped in an Italian flag and dressed in white. He will be fighting in green shorts.

Moreno has beaten Figueiredo by submission for the flyweight title! 

"This moment is so amazing," Moreno said.

"Holding this belt, talking to you, I feel amazing right now."

There is one fight remaining before Adesanya's title fight with Vettori - Deiveson Figueiredo is set to take on Brandon Moreno for the flyweight title. Adesanya and Vettori is expected to start sometime between 4.30pm and 5pm.

UNDERCARD: BRAD RIDDELL v DREW DOBER

Brad Riddell has won by unanimous decision! He dedicates his victory to Fau Vake, the MMA fighter who died after being assaulted in Auckland last month.

"My friend got murdered two weeks ago, so I was never going to lose this fight," Riddell said post-fight.

"I had a driving force that was bigger than me and I'm very, very grateful that I still get to walk on this planet.

"That walkout song might have sounded a little bit weird, but that was his walkout song so that was my tribute to his family because unfortunately he'll never be able to make this walk.

"I miss you Fau, I hope you're proud."

Round three: Riddell, likely knowing he's behind on the scorecard, comes out hard at the start of the round, striking Dober with a series of hard shots to the body. Riddell lands a strong right hand to Dobel's temple midway through the round and is able to avoid Dobel's counters. The Kiwi tries a high kick but falls, recovering in time before Dober could make a move. But he's not done. Riddell digs deep, firing shot after shot, staggering Dober, before pinning him on the floor, trying to finish the deal. He's not quite able to do so but lands plenty of quick shots before the bell sounds. He lets out a roar, believing he may just have done enough to take it.

Round two: Dober comes out swinging again, striking Riddell hard, causing the Kiwi's nose to start bleeding. Riddell goes for the takedown once more but can't pin Dober successfully. On their feet again, Riddell looks slow on his feet while Dober is bouncing around full of energy. Dober clocks Riddell in the chest with a roundhouse kick just before the bell goes at the end of the second.

Round one: Dober comes out the aggressor and strikes Riddell with a strong hook early. Riddell manages to recover quickly and tries to take his opponent to the floor, unsuccessfully. The rest of the round consists of feints and jabs as the pair square off in the centre of the octagon, each fighter trading light blows before the bell sounds.

PREVIEW:

Israel Adesanya will seek to defend his middleweight title for the third successive time when he comes up against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263 this afternoon.

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Adesanya and Vettori exchanged a war of words during a heated press conference. Source: 1 NEWS

The two fighters met in 2018, where Adesanya won by split decision. Vettori has won five straight fights since then and is looking to become the first Italian-born fighter to win a UFC title.

Adesanya has been dominant in the middleweight division, but is coming off his first career loss, having been outmatched in the light heavyweight title fight against Jan Blachowicz in March.

Vettori has long disputed the result of the first bout between he and Adesanya, and today he gets the chance to prove he is the better fighter.

The two got into a war of words during a heated press conference on Friday, Adesanya claiming he ran Vettori's career, and that the Italian suffered from "roid rage".