Israel Adesanya is leaving no stone unturned in his bid to defend his middleweight title for the third time.

‘Stylebender’ is set to square off against Marvin Vettori in a highly anticipated rematch that will be the main even at UFC 263 on Saturday night.

Adesanya is coming off the first loss of his career. The 31-year-old jumped up to light-heavyweight to challenge for a second UFC belt earlier this year. He fell short against Jan Blachowicz who was able to utilize his superior grappling in the latter rounds to retain his 205lb strap.

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Vettori has put together an impressive five-fight win streak. ‘The Italian Dream’ has beaten the likes of Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland to earn his shot at the champ.

The pair first fought in 2018 and took part in a fairly close fight. Adesanya was ultimately declared the winner with two of the three judges scoring the bout in his favour. MMA judge, Chris Lee gave the fight to Vettori with a scorecard of 29/28.

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Adesanya and his team believe that scorecard was so off that they requested Lee never judge one of his fights again.

However, Lee was scheduled to judge the UFC 263 main event this weekend before Team Adesanya intervened.

“This time, shout out to my man Tim and Eugene,” Adesanya said in an interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. “Eugene already made a complaint a while back to I think Mick [Maynard] saying ‘we never want him to judge again.’ And apparently, he was scheduled to judge this fight again and shout out to my man Tim from Paradigm. He said ‘no f*cking way’, and yeah, we got him out of there. No disrespect to him but full disrespect to him if he actually thought Marvin won the last fight.”

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Do you think Israel Adesanya and his team made the right call by removing Chris Lee from the judging panel?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.