Marvin Vettori wants to run it back in the Octagon with Israel Adesanya. Until then, the middleweight slugger wants fans to realise that Adesanya isn’t as great as they think he is.
Vettori fought “The Last Stylebender” in 2018. He lost the bout via split decision, but believes he had the upper hand in the close contest.
“People can say whatever they want about my fight,” Vettori said to MMA Junkie. “I have my opinions. He has his opinions. People have their opinions, … but whoever won that fight, and the judges – one gave it to me, two gave it to him – whoever, even him, is he happy with what happened in that fight? Did it really go down like it was supposed to go down? Did anybody really come out on top, like saying, ‘I beat the other guy,’?
“If anything, he came out more beat up than me from that fight.”
As a former opponent of the middleweight champion, Vettori is unlikely to praise Adesanya. However, he also criticized Yoel Romero for the lacklustre title fight at UFC 248.
“I was disappointed on both sides,” Vettori said. “I think the fault was on both sides. I actually thought Romero won the fight, but it was very close, and I know these New Zealand guys are unbeatable in decisions. If they go to decisions, they’re unbeatable. What I’m saying is, third title fight, 42 years old, you know the situation, and the strategy was good, but then fourth and fifth, starting from the third, you’ve got to bring it up a little more.”
The middleweight believes we have seen the middleweight champion’s true colours, and that Adesanya will continue to play it safe.
“From Adesanya, I’m seeing just a scared guy, honestly – like, he didn’t want to take risks, and I’ll tell you why: Because Romero was being very good of not reacting to his feints and being very unpredictable, which he always is, but even more, and doing all this weird (expletive), so Adesanya wouldn’t have a lot to build on,” Marvin Vettori said. “Even if it looks like he’s a striker and he does all this weird (expletive), he plays it safe a lot of times, and people fall for this (expletive). But I’ve seen it.
“When he has to take some risks there, because Romero was being good at not reacting and stuff, he’s been scared to go fight. He got hit a couple times, and he just acted like a bitch the whole time, and so that showed me his true colors. That showed me that if there is a need to take risks, he’s not going to take them. He’s going to stay real safe. He knows he’s not going to be finished, and he known he’s not going to be beat by decision.”
The Last Stylebender is expected to fight Romero’s previous opponent, Paulo Costa in his next contest. Meanwhile, Marvin Vettori has accomplished two consecutive wins since his loss to Adesanya. He was scheduled to fight Darren Stewart last weekend at UFC on ESPN+ 29, before the card got cancelled over the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Who knows when the world of MMA will return back to normal, but Vettori is certain that an Adesanya rematch is on the horizon.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/23/2020.