‘He wasn’t better at all’

In spite of 2 losses to Israel Adesanya in head-to-head matches, Marvin Vettori believes he’s superior to the UFC middleweight champ.

After losing a split choice to Adesanya (21-1 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, 10-1 UFC) in April 2018, Vettori (17-5-1 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, 7-3-1 UFC) invested years declaring he needs to’ve won and he would strengthen it in a rematch. He lastly got his opportunity this previous June, however things didn’t go his method once again. He lost by consentaneous choice in the UFC 263 headliner.

Vettori was extremely positive entering into the 2nd encounter with Adesanya. He was the very first to get a winning scorecard over “The Last Stylebender” in the very first bout, and believed he had the tools to get his hand raised when they ran it back. He lost in the main outcome, however Vettori doesn’t believe that informs the entire story.

The Italian fighter confesses he was disappointed with media and fan understanding of how the rematch unfolded. He believed he did enough for it to be thought about a better result – if not a win in his favor – and argues he needs to get more credit. In addition, Vettori stated he didn’t combat to his finest due to some unforeseen truths inside the octagon.

“He was very smart in there and he fought a very smart fight,” Vettori stated. “With that being said, he wasn’t better. He wasn’t better at all in general. He wasn’t mored skilled, he didn’t have more cardio, he didn’t have more like anything, really. He was smart. He knew he was a champion. He didn’t really want to engage with me in a lot of things. Exchanges in general. One thing he was good at, he was able to play the crowd and kind of like almost be his own cornering in a sense. He had his own cornering, obviously, but he also had his like, he was his own corner. He was able to see the situation a little bit more from outside, from a third eye, almost.

“I did I mistake I think that maybe it was because it was the first time in front of the crowd for a while, or for a number of reasons. But with that being said, he used that to his advantage. Meanwhile, I didn’t use it or almost I let it played against me because I had like blinders on. That, most of the time would be the right thing to do. But in a situation like this it’s not. Especially when you’re fighting for a title.”

Vettori will get his opportunity to rebound from the title-fight loss on Oct. 23 when he deals with Paulo Costa (13-1 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, 5-1 UFC) in the UFC Battle Night 196 centerpiece. The card occurs at the UFC Peak in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN+.

Although Costa is a match Vettori has actually desired for a long time – and he has expectations for a ruthless success – he stated it’s all simply a foundation towards returning to Adesanya. It’s not common for a fighter to be approved a 3rd chance to deal with a standing champ if they’ve currently lost two times, however Vettori hopes his efficiencies reveal he can be an exception.

“I did a mistake and I paid for it,” Vettori stated. “But, you know, I really realized I can really beat this guy and I’m actually better than this guy. Two days after it’s like, ‘If we redo this fight, I’m going to beat this guy. Clean.’ But that’s it. Now I have to just reclaim my spot, and I feel like this is a fight (against Costa) that regardless of being champion or not, I would have won. I would have won this fight.

“I’m definitely thinking title and I know for a fact I’m going to face again Adesanya. I just want to fight the best, be the best and eventually claim my spot to be the best and win the title.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.