Marvin ‘The Italian Dream’ Vettori has seized the short-notice opportunity with arguably the biggest standout performance of his career. The Kings MMA mainstay switched from an early approach — on his way to a unanimous decision win over Jack ‘The Joker’ Hermansson.

The real story of the first-round came with both men hoping to find a home for counter straight shots, mostly in the pocket. Landing the most significant shot of the frame, Vettori dropped Hermansson with a left hand, and briefly threatened with a guillotine as the Swede survived the first-frame.

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With an aggresive approach to the opening exchanges of the second, Hermansson attempted to score a high-crotch single-leg, with Vettori defending expertly, event sweeping the #4 ranked contender, winding up in full-guard. In a much more comfortable finish to the round, Hermansson landed a good knee in the clinch, finding a notably heavy breathing Vettori’s mid-section.

Likely stealing the third-round, Hermansson managed to let his hands go with much more success midway through this headliner, with Vettori still breathing quite heavily. Hermansson swinging somewhat wild, however.

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While Vettori seemed much more composed and energetic in the fourth than in the third, it semes Hermansson may have still scored a 10-9 with his cleaner boxing. Vettori’s shots also seem to have waned in effect compared to the first round.

Blasting through the final round with the same pace as set in the prior four, Vettori and Hermansson battled to the distance, with the Italian scoring a unanimous decision win in a short-notice appearance. Following his victory, the soon to be minted top-five contender called for a pairing with recent middleweight title challenger, Paulo ‘The Eraser’ Costa.

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Below, check out the highlights from Hermansson’s exciting war with Vettori.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.