Saturday, January 23, 2021

Marvin Vettori: Israel Adesanya Hasn’t Proven Much To Me

UFC Vegas 16 headliner Marvin Vettori is not impressed with Israel Adesanya’s performances.

It’s been over two years since Marvin Vettori fought Israel Adesanya in what was only Adesanya’s second UFC fight. The fight was highly competitive, and Vettori took Adesanya to a split decision, something no one else can say to this day. Vettori has remained consistent after the loss in his belief that he was the rightful winner of his bout against Adesanya and his desire to have a rematch long before Adesanya became the champion. Now that Adesanya has exited the division, that throws a wrench in Vettori’s plans, and he’s not happy about it.

“It’s bullsh*t,” Vettori said to reporters on a virtual media day for UFC Vegas 16. “It’s kind of bullsh*t. I think this guy just thinks he’s too much, he just thinks like he can do whatever he wants. To me, he still didn’t prove much. His last fight was good, but it was mainly like (Paulo) Costa beat himself going into that fight. The fight before, [Adesanya] he barely…through my eyes, was basically one of the worst title fights ever and he basically lost against Yoel Romero.  It didn’t really prove much, but the media are all over him.”

One name conspicuously absent from Marvin Vettori’s rundown is former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, whom Adesanya KO’d to win the title back in October of last year at UFC 243. Vettori wouldn’t directly address Adesanya’s performance that night, but he did have a critical assessment about the mental state of Robert Whittaker today.

“The main thing, to be honest, I think there’s not much great, hungry opposition in the top-5 at the moment,” Vettori said. “We’ve got Robert Whittaker just coming out of a win with Jared Cannonier saying that he’s interested, but really not, he’s just looking forward to enjoying Christmas, which is totally understandable. But man, it was like October, November, of course, you can enjoy, but at the same time if you’re really about getting the title back you should be hungry for it. The No. 1 contender’s not that hungry anymore and strong, real, hungry opposition is not there, and after Saturday there will be.”

With former challengers who have failed to impress him and contenders he feels lack the same hunger as he possesses, Marvin Vettori has a clear message to the reigning champion Israel Adesanya.

“He better stay and not play around at light heavyweight, this and that… stay and face me,” Vettori demanded.

Do you believe Marvin Vettori will ever face Israel Adesanya again?