On Saturday night, the UFC 286 main card kicked off with a top-10 middleweight clash at one-time title challenger Marvin Vettori stepped into the Octagon against No. 9 ranked contender Roman Dolidze. ‘The Italian Dream was intent on getting back into the win column following a unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker in September, but that would prove to be no easy task against the streaking Georgian wrecking machine. Dolidze entered the bout riding a four-fight win streak with the last three coming by way of knockout.
Vettori came out landing a couple of quick leg kicks before delivering one to the body of Dolidze. Dolidze responded with a heavy right hand followed by a flurry of strikes that got Vettori’s attention. ‘The Italian Dream’ responded with a solid left hand of his own, backing up Dolidze. Vettori continued to target the lead leg of Dolidze. Right hand from Vettori landed. Dolidze delivers a calf kick followed by a stiff right. Dolidze with a high head kick followed by a looping right. Dolidze landed another big right that rocked Vettori. Vettori backed up to the fence in response and Dolidze swarmed, swinging heavy leather, but Vettori survives.
Round two began similarly with Vettori targeting the lead leg of Dolidze while the Georgian looked to land a big looping right hand. Vettori threw a kick to the body followed by another calf kick. Dolidze put on the pressure as he throws another big right hand that glances off the top of Vettori’s head. Calf kick by Dolidze. Vettori continued to keep space between himself and Dolidze with leg kicks and jabs as Dolidze continuously moved forward. Dolidze attempted to level change, but Vettori easily defended. High kick by Vettori was blocked by Dolidze. Back-to-back calf kicks from Vettori as Dolidze noticeably slowed down towards the end of the second round.
With the bout potentially 1-1, both fighters came out looking to push the pace. Dolidze throws an overhand right that missed, allowing Vettori to land a couple of solid calf kicks. Dolidze rushed in on the attack, but Vettori easily circled out and continued to pepper Dolidze’s leg. Body kick by Vettori was blocked. Check right hook by Vettori landed. Solid right by Dolidze landed. Another big right hand for Dolidze hit the mark. Another cracking right hand from Dolidze sends Vettori stumbling back for cover. Heavy low kick by Vettori and Dolidze landed another right. Both fighters trade stiff shots with just under a minute to go. Dolidze pressed Vettori to the fence and goes on the attack with 30 seconds to go. Both fighters unload in the last 10 seconds, looking for an edge on the judges’ scorecards.
Official Result: Marvin Vettori def. Roman Dolidze via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Check Out Highlights From Marvin Vettori vs. Roman Dolidze at UFC 286 Below:
Marvin Vettori is too damn tough
— 🌴ᴛʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴏꜰᴡᴀʀ🌴 (@TheArtOfWar6) March 18, 2023
Hard fought win 😤
🇮🇹 @MarvinVettori adds a W to his record tonight! #UFC286 pic.twitter.com/GljtdgPzl1
— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2023