Heading into his June bout versus Vitor Miranda at UFC Fight Night 112, middleweight Marvin Vettori had a strong sense of what his opponent was bringing to the fight, and was able to prepare accordingly.
Knowing Mirada was a durable, but slow starting opponent, Vettori was able to control much of the bout and pick up a unanimous decision win.
“I knew (Miranda) was very beatable, but at the same time I knew he had a concrete head and could take a lot of punishment,” Vettori told MMAWeekly.com. “I think he’s not a ranked opponent, but he’s a very tough guy. I knew not to underrate him. I got the win. I was dominant and it was a solid performance.”
Coming off a loss in his previous bout against Antonio Carlos Junior at UFC 207 in December of 2016, Vettori might have been under additional pressure to win against Miranda to remain in the UFC, but it was nothing he hasn’t gotten used to.
“There’s always pressure in a way,” said Vettori. “I put everything on the line when I step in there because this is my life. But I train every day, very hard. Anyone who knows me knows that I never take shortcuts or anything.
“The pressure is always there, but over time you are able to manage it and use it in a good way for yourself. I just try to not waste energy before the fight, and once the fight starts, it’s all what I’ve been training and the instinct you (develop) in training over and over again.”
Vettori (12-3) will look to pick up his second straight win, and third in four UFC bouts, when he takes on Omari Akhmedov (17-4) in a 185-pound preliminary bout at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.
“(I want to) knock him out,” Vettori said of Akhmedov. “Simple as that; knock him out.
“What I’ve learned in my career is to just focus on my style and make it bulletproof in any way. But at the same time, you make some little changes and be specific on what your opponent brings. I made sure of all of this in this camp and I am super-ready.”
While Vettori seeks to take one bout at a time because one never knows how things will play out, he does have a definite goal he wants to achieve within the next couple years.
“Anything can happen, to be honest, but I take it step by step for now,” said Vettori. “After this fight, I want to fight a ranked opponent and after that keep climbing the rankings until I get my title shot.
“I’m always training and I’m injury-free, I’m ready to step in for any short-notice opportunities. It’s a little early, but my goal is (to fight for a title) by the end of 2019, but who knows, I’m not a magician and I can’t predict the future.”