UFC President Dana White recently stated that Italian contender Marvin Vettori will most likely get the next title shot against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
White spoke with The Ringer's Bill Simmons on his show The Bill Simmons Podcast and confirmed that Vettori will probably be Adesanya's next challenger after former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker won't be ready to fight by the time the Nigerian champion wants to compete next.
“It’s looking like Rob Whittaker, who just fought on Saturday night, isn’t going to be ready to fight Israel Adesanya at the time Israel Adesanya wants to fight, so it’ll probably be Marvin Vettori first,” White said (h/t MMAJunkie) “Much like Conor McGregor, Conor ignited Europe, everybody who didn’t know UFC knows UFC now because of Conor McGregor. This is what this guy will do for Italy.”
Combate subsequently reported that Adesanya vs. Vettori will headline UFC 263 on June 12, a card which includes a rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo (c) vs Brandon Moreno (no. 1) for the UFC flyweight title.
Adesanya and Vettori first met at UFC on FOX 29 in April 2018 where Adesanya took a split-decision victory. Since then Vettori has reeled off five straight wins most recently defeating Kevin Holland via a unanimous decision in the main event of UFC Vegas 23. If he does get the rematch with Adesanya, Vettori will become the first Italian-born fighter to compete for a UFC title.