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It’s personal! Roman Dolidze trained with Marvin Vettori but ‘didn’t think twice’ when booking UFC 286

UFC 202: Uda v Vettori Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC middleweight title challenger Marvin Vettori, currently ranked No. 4 at 185 pounds, will collide with fast-rising division bruiser Roman Dolidze as part of the UFC 286 pay-per-view (PPV) main card this Sat. night (March 18, 2023) at The O2 Arena in London, England.

And it’s not just business for “The Italian Dream,” it’s also “a bit personal.”

LIVE! Watch UFC 286 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

CHAMPIONSHIP TRILOGY! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to The O2 in London England, on Sat., March 18, 2023, with newly-minted Welterweight kingpin, Leon Edwards, running it back with former 170-pound champion, Kamaru Usman, for a third (and likely final) time. In UFC 286’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, all-action Lightweight knockout artists, Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, will lock horns with the winner inching closer to a future Lightweight title shot.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“It is a bit personal with Roman, too, in a sense because we actually trained together before and stuff and we have some good friends in common,” Vettori said during the UFC 286 media day. “He didn’t think twice about accepting the fight. If they come back to me and say, ‘Oh he accepted the fight,’ then I’m not gonna shy away from a fight, definitely not. I wouldn’t say that we were friends, but at the same time, we’ve been around each other a couple of times. At the end of the day we’re not here to make friends and I totally get it, so let’s do it.”

This top bantamweight contender would disagree.

Vettori (18-6-1) is looking to rebound from his unanimous decision loss to Robert Whittaker at the UFC Paris event back in September. Prior to that, “The Italian Dream” rattled off a 6-1 record dating back to his Israel Adesanya loss at UFC on FOX 29 in early 2018.

“I don’t understand him, I hear this not first time,” Dolidze countered. “I don’t understand what that means, personal? We are professionals, we are athletes. I want to fight the best guys. I know him but I know a lot of people here. If I know the whole roster in UFC, I don’t need to fight these guys? I don’t understand why he thinks like that. I respect him, like fighter, like person, but I don’t know him like brother to say things like that. He also accepted fight! He could say, ‘No, I don’t want to fight.’ I always say ‘yes’ no matter who they give me.”

Remember, there are no friends at 185 pounds.

Dolidze (12-1) is on a torrid four-fight wining streak, which includes his technical knockout win over Jack Hermansson at UFC Orlando late last year. The 34 year-old Georgian is currently ranked No. 9 in the middleweight division, four spots below Vettori.

To see who else is fighting at UFC 286 click here.

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