Marvin Vettori thinks he’s a tough matchup for champion Alex Pereira, who will struggle with the wrestling

LONDON – Marvin Vettori is confident his championship chances still are strong.

The former middleweight title challenger is not ready to give up on his dreams of holding the UFC title, and he doesn’t think he’s too far from another championship fight now that he’s back in the win column. Vettori (19-5-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) defeated Roman Dolidze by unanimous decision in the opening bout of Saturday’s UFC 286 pay-per-view main card.

Vettori knows there’s work to be done, but also wouldn’t be surprised if he were to get a championship booking in the near future.

“I believe I still need a few more fights, and I don’t mind that,” Vettori said at the UFC 286 post-fight news conference. “Of course, the way I am, I want to rush to the title, and for sure (champion Alex) Pereira would be a great fight for me. And listen, I’m right there. When you’re in the top five, it doesn’t matter if you’re No. 1, 2 or 3. You’re in the top five.

“The occasion arises, and you have some momentum behind you, you can catch that occasion and win that fight. There are a lot of examples of that. So we’ll see how this fight between (former champ Israel) Adesanya and Pereira plays out. Obviously, (Robert) Whittaker is there – but I’m there. The moment you send me a contract, you can count on me showing up. You can count on me 100 percent. There’s never been a time when I back out from a fight.”


Marvin Vettori def. Roman Dolidze at UFC 286: Best photos

In terms of a potential fight Pereira, Vettori sees himself as a tough matchup for the Brazilian. He sees a skilled fighter, but with gaps in his game he thinks he can exploit.

“He’s less acclimated to MMA, but still, he’s getting there,” Vettori said. “I think they’re giving him more time to get there. With that being said, I think I believe I’m a very good matchup because I can definitely mix it up in the wrestling, and he’ll struggle with that.

“I like him as a champion, way more than Adesanya. I like the Adesnaya fight, too. We’ll see, line them up. The only guy I didn’t fight in the top 10 is (Jared) Cannonier. Maybe that’s what’s next. But listen, if someone gets injured, I’ll be right there. I want to be active, and I’m going to stay ready. And if I have the chance to fight Pereira, you can count on me for sure.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie