UFC middleweight fighter Martin Vettori wants a rematch against Israel Adesanya.
After beating Kevin Holland via unanimous decision Saturday, Vettori told UFC analyst Daniel Cormier that he's looking to fight the middleweight champion in October.
Fifteen of Adesanya's first 20 professional fights ended via knockout, and judges ruled in favor of him by unanimous decision on four others.
The outlier was a split-decision win over Vettori, which took place April 14, 2018. Two judges ruled the fight 29-28 in favor of Adesanya, and the other had it 29-28 for Vettori.
What isn't in dispute is that Vettori won the third round of that fight. He took down Adesanya twice and landed 13 significant strikes to his opponent's 10.
Adesanya landed more significant strikes overall (57-46), but it was arguably his toughest test until he moved up in weight class and challenged light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz for his title in March. Adesanya lost via unanimous decision, marking the first defeat of his career (20-1 overall, 9-1 UFC).
As for Vettori, he's done nothing but win since then, earning five victories (four by unanimous decision, one by submission).
However, Vettori does have some fighters ahead of him on the rankings between himself and the champion. ESPN's Ariel Helwani gave his take on Vettori's challenge:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Vettori did what he had to do win. Solid win against a game Holland. Adjusted very well after the first. Not sure how you can justify giving him a title shot over Brunson when that was the same performance DB had 3 wks ago.<br><br>Pressure mounts for Whittaker/Gastelum, IMO. Let’s see.
Helwani referenced Derek Brunson, who beat Holland via unanimous decision on March 20. He is currently No. 4 in the UFC middleweight rankings. Vettori was ranked No. 6 on the middleweight contender list before his win over Holland, who was listed at No. 10.
Holland had less than a month to prepare for the fight after losing to Brunson.
On Saturday, he was a late replacement for Darren Till, who suffered a broken collarbone during training.
Perhaps Brunson gets a shot at the champ before Vettori, but the 27-year-old Italian fighter is on fire right now and could be making his way up the rankings one way or another. He is now 17-4-1 lifetime (7-2-1 UFC).