Israel Adesanya defeated Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. It’s pretty clear these two fighters don’t care for each other at all, and this exchange proved it. The Nigerian fighter managed to get back on track after a disappointing evening at UFC 259 against Jan Blachowicz. This is a bit of a redemption moment for both fighters. Vettori lost a match to Adesanya back at UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Gaethje. A split decision led to the spectators debating how the entire thing scored. Adesanya was a rising star, and still is, but fans of Vettori believed he got the short end of the stick. Then, came this week’s weigh-in where the two butted heads again and had to be physically separated. The Last Stylebender decided to challenge his opponent right there on the stage and security had to step in. Dana White and the promotion had to love that as it adds some drama to these two fighters’ stories going forward.
Adesanya talked to SportsCenter about their previous fight. It seems as though Vettori is still carrying that flame from their previous meeting. A number of fight fans think he may have a point about bettering the star the last time they crossed paths.
“It doesn’t annoy me, it’s just intriguing,” he began. “It’s intriguing to me how someone could be so delusional. But, that’s in the past. You know? That’s in the past, so I let it go. But obviously, he hasn’t. So, It’s intriguing to me how someone can just hold on to that, that loss, like it’s their greatest win. So, yeah, it’s funny.”
“He’s a really tough guy,” Adesanya continued. “But, I just feel like this time, it’s five rounds. I knew how he felt at the end of the third round, even though, you know, I got back up from the takedown. And I started to like put the pressure on him. I knew how he felt and it’s in the same atmosphere.He might have adapted a little better. But, guess what? So have I. I have adapted a lot better. So, yeah, I just want to like school him 5-0 each round. Bell to bell. In every situation, on the fence, on the ground, on the stand up. So yeah, when it’s all said and done, he can look at me and know that I’m the better fighter always.”
Chris Weidman spoke to ESPN about tonight’s bout and he felt like this was a prove-it moment for the Nigerian striker.
"There was a lot of clout behind Adesanya, everyone thought he was really good," Weidman explained. "But then I remember it getting back to me that some Italian guy who wasn't a wrestler was outwrestling him… It's really going to come down to strategy, what they bring to the table and what they learned from the first fight.”
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