Nigerian-born Isreal Adesanya retains UFC middleweight title

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Israel Adesanya retained his middleweight title on Sunday morning by defeating Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision in the headline bout at UFC 263 at Gila River Arena in Arizona.

Adesanya, who prevailed against the Italian by split decision in 2018, was superior throughout, taking the fight 50-45 on all three scorecards.

It took the Nigeria-born champion’s professional record to 21-1, with Adesanya rebounding from his first pro loss – the points defeat to light heavyweight title-holder Jan Blachowicz in March. It marked Adesanya’s third successful defense of his middleweight crown.

In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno defeated flyweight belt-holder Deiveson Figueiredo in their rematch to become the UFC’s first Mexican-born champion. Moreno, who shared a majority draw with the Brazilian in December, submitted Figueiredo via a third-round rear-naked choke.

Elsewhere, Leon Edwards survived a late wobble to defeat Nate Diaz on points. The Jamaican-born fighter, the No 3-ranked contender at welterweight, dominated until the final minute before a straight left from Diaz rocked him significantly. Edwards, though, stayed the course, to triumph 49-46 on all three judges’ cards and lift his win streak to 10.

 

Tobi Sangotola/thenational
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