Italian middleweight contender Marvin Vettori has stepped in on one week’s notice to replace Kevin Holland against the No. 4-ranked Jack Hermansson.
It will be the second consecutive change of opponent for “The Italian Dream”, in the span of just over two months.
The Mezzocorona native was initially slated to clash against Russian veteran Omari Akhmedov on December 12 at UFC 256. Then, for undisclosed reason, the UFC decided to match Vettori against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace Jacare Souza, still on December 12.
On Saturday, though, the news of Kevin Holland testing positive to COVID-19 emerged, and both Vettori and Hermansson accepted the fight each other on short notice.
After the news broke, Marvin Vettori’s trainer, Emanuele Lochner, released a statement detailing how the negotiations went.
“As you all know, Marvin was scheduled to fight against Jacaré on December 12, but last night he got a call asking him if he wanted to fight against Hermansson,” Lochner said via his personal page The Scramble Show. “Marvin already accepted, but we had to wait until Hermansson woke up. He accepted too, so now Marvin will fight on this Saturday, December 5, in a 5-round main event against Jack Hermansson.”
This will be the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship event headlined by an Italian-born fighter. Prior to this, only Alessio Sakara, Danilo Belluardo and Vettori himself, served as co-main events in a UFC card.
On Sunday, the Kings MMA representative took on his social media to issue a statement about how big this is for the Italian scene and for himself.
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“Years of sweat, blood and tears and it all comes down to big opportunities like this,” Vettori wrote. “Thank you Mick Maynard for the call. I’m ready for 5 rounds of war and I expect none of the less back. Italy will have a UFC world champion and one week from now we’ll show the world that it will happen.”
The final fight both men had before getting signed by the UFC happened in Milan, Italy at Venator Fighting Championship 3. The pair both emerged victorious. Now, the two middleweights will lock horns on Saturday December 5, in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the main event of the show.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM