UFC middleweight Marvin Vettori has been asking for a big fight all year. The slugger wanted a matchup against a top-ranked opponent. It did not quite come together — through no fault of his own — until now.
At the end of what has been a trying 2020 for Vettori, he will get an opportunity against Jack Hermansson in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas. ESPN has Hermansson ranked No. 6 in the world at middleweight.
Vettori was booked to fight Darren Stewart in March at a UFC Fight Night in London. He made the trip there from California only to find out the event was canceled due to coronavirus. In May, Vettori was scheduled to fight Karl Roberson, but Roberson withdrew on the day of the bout after a bad weight cut. Vettori eventually beat Roberson by first-round submission in May.
Hermansson (21-5) is coming off a first-round submission win over Kelvin Gastelum in July. The Sweden native, who lives and trains in Norway, has won five of his past six fights. Hermansson, 32, sports an 8-3 record in the UFC with six finishes.
Vettori (15-4-1) has won three in a row. His last loss came against current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in April 2018, a split decision. In all, the Italian fighter is unbeaten in five of his past six UFC fights. Vettori, 27, has a chance to jump into title contention with a win Saturday night.
In the co-main event, light heavyweight stalwart Ovince Saint Preux meets up-and-coming prospect Jamahal Hill. Saint Preux (25-14) is 3-4 in his past seven. Hill (7-0, 1 NC) finished Klidson Abreu in his last bout back in May, but it was overturned to a no contest by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) due to a positive drug test for marijuana.
Also on the card, Gabriel Benitez and Justin Jaynes meet in a battle of exciting featherweights, undefeated featherweight prospect Movsar Evloev faces Nate Landwehr and bantamweight veterans Louis Smolka and Jose Quiñonez face off.
Middleweight: Jack Hermansson (21-5, 8-3 UFC, +120) vs. Marvin Vettori (15-4-1, 5-2-1 UFC, -140)
Light heavyweight: Ovince Saint Preux (25-14, 12-9 UFC, +150) vs. Jamahal Hill (7-0 1 NC, 1-0 UFC 1 NC, -170)
Lightweight: Gabriel Benitez (21-9, 5-4 UFC, -210) vs. Justin Jaynes (16-5, 1-1 UFC, +180)
Light heavyweight: Roman Dolidze 7-0, 1-0 UFC, -200) vs. John Allan (13-5 1 NC, 0-0 1 NC UFC, +175)
Lightweight: Matt Wiman (16-9, 10-7 UFC, +320) vs. Jordan Leavitt (7-0, 0-0 UFC, -400)
Men’s bantamweight: Louis Smolka (16-7, 7-7 UFC, -135) vs. Jose Quinonez (9-4, 5-3 UFC, +115)
Men’s flyweight: Jimmy Flick (15-5, 0-0 UFC, -165) vs. Cody Durden (11-2-1, 0-0-1 UFC, +145)
Men’s featherweight: Ilia Topuria (9-0, 1-0 UFC, -240) vs. Damon Jackson (18-3-1, 1-0 UFC, +210)
Heavyweight: Gian Villante (17-12, 7-9 UFC, -185) vs. Jake Collier (11-5, 3-4 UFC, +175)
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