A middleweight rematch between Omari ‘The Wolverine’ Akhmedov and Marvin ‘The Italian Dream’ Vettori has fallen to the wayside ahead of a proposed UFC 256 matchup on December 12th. from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Reasons for Akhmedov’s withdrawal from the clash are yet to be disclosed, however, the promotion has managed to keep the streaking Vettori on the card – in a newly worked pairing with veteran grappler, former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Ronaldo ‘Jacaré’ Souza.
Scoring wins in his last three consecutively, Trento native, Vettori managed to earn the #14 rank at 185-pounds following a first-round submission win over Karl Roberson at UFC Vegas 2 in June in a rescheduled pairing.
In the midst of a two-fight skid, perennial contender, Souza dropped out of the middleweight top fifteen in a unanimous decision loss to Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night Sunrise in April of last year – before briefly testing light heavyweight waters in a close split decision loss to current division best, Jan Błachowicz in the main event of UFC Fight Night São Paulo last November.
Souza tested positive for COVID-19 back in May before a scheduled return to middleweight, forcing him from a clash with Uriah ‘Primetime’ Hall at UFC 249. News of the reworked pairing of Vettori and Souza was first reported by Vettori’s personal trainer, Emanuele Lochner on his YouTube channel, The Scramble MMA Show.
Vettori, 28 – has garnered much attention during his three-fight rise, scoring other wins over The Ulitmate Fighter 23 victor,Andrew Sanchez, as well as recent PFL signee, Cezar ‘Mutante’ Ferreira since July of last year.
A former Venator FC welterweight best, Vettori battled to a majority draw opposite the above mentioned, Akhmedov at UFC 219 in December of 2017 – before a close split decision defeat to current middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya at UFC Fight Night Glendale the following April.
Vila Vehra veteran, Souza looks to make his fifteen Octagon appearance since his arrival from the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion back in 2013. The renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner has notched notable Octagon wins over the likes of Ed Herman, Francis Carmont, Gegard Mousasi, Vitor Belfort, Derek Brunson, as well as a UFC 230 knockout over former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman back in November 2018 – his most recent professional victory.