Middleweight veterans and recent title challengers cross paths on the road back to the top of the division here.

Vettori started his UFC career going 2-2-1 in his first five fights, but is 7-2 since, with his losses coming to Israel Adesanya in a championship bout at UFC 263 and Robert Whittaker last fall in Paris. “The Italian Dream” cemented his standing as a top contender in the division with a unanimous decision win over Roman Dolidize in March at UFC 286 and will look to build on that effort when he jumps in with Cannonier.

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Just like his dance partner on June 17, Cannonier has only lost to Whittaker and Adesanya since moving to middleweight, bouncing back from his setback against the current champ with a split decision win over Sean Strickland in the final UFC fight of 2022. He has big power but can get a little too patient and methodical at times, but the aggressiveness of his Italian counterpart should force him to let loose a little more, or risk being run over.

At the moment, the title picture in the middleweight division is a little blurry, as Adesanya reclaimed the throne in April and has already vanquished several of the top contenders. The winner of this one will lock themselves into a place in the Top 5, but what comes next could hinge on how things play out here.

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