Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Vettori Disregards Whittaker Win, Makes Relentless Push For Title Shot

Marvin Vettori doesn’t give a damn about your UFC Vegas 24 results.

At UFC Vegas 24, Robert Whittaker seemingly confirmed his status as the rightful #1 contender to Israel Adesanya’s middleweight championship when he defeated Kelvin Gastelum in the main event. Once somewhat passive about when he would receive a rematch against Adesanya, Whittaker made it clear that there will be an Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2, end of discussion. Yet, loudmouth contender Marvin Vettori still has plenty to say about the matter.

Unlike with Whittaker, there has never been any question about how badly Vettori wants a rematch against Adesanya, who holds a victory over both Whittaker and Vettori. After defeating Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 23, Vettori believed it was he who should be next for Adesanya. Then, Whittaker’s statement win over Gastelum the following weekend complicated, if not spoiled Vettori’s argument. Or has it? Because the #3-ranked middleweight is still lobbying hard to be next for Adesanya as if there was no event at all this past weekend.

Marvin Vettori Makes Relentless Push For Middleweight Title Shot

Vettori’s unwavering push for a title shot began with his decision to attend the UFC Vegas 24 card last weekend. When interviewed at the conclusion of the event by ESPN, Vettori continued to argue why he should be next in line and stated that Israel Adesanya is dropping subtle messages for him, such as eating pizza during weigh-ins. As a proud Italian, Vettori believed this to be Adesanya’s own way of trolling him. 

Then, Vettori took to Twitter to address Adesanya directly in a hostile manner:

@stylebender wassup little guy ready to go?? Are you still feeding bananas to your dog from your own mouth? It’s because Id like to break all your teeth so that you can do that even better. Cant hide forever it’s inevitable,” Vettori wrote.

Finally, in an interview with Unlocking the Cage on SiriusXM, Vettori would submit a more thorough argumentation for why he should be next for Adesanya. His main points are two-fold: Adesanya claimed that he wants to make a quick turnaround, and he is much more likely than Robert Whittaker to accommodate that plan.

“This is a fact: My name is going to be mentioned to Israel Adesanya,” Vettori said. “My name is gonna be mentioned,” Vettori said. “Because if he wants to stay active and he wants to come back early, they know Whittaker just fought. I just fought, too, but I don’t think Whittaker will be willing to step in like June, July, August, anything like this. I’m ready to go. I’ll be willing to step up in June. If he wants to stay active, I’m the option. I’m the guy.”

Twitter reacts to Israel Adesanya's win at UFC on FOX 29
Marvin Vettori Mistakenly Thinking He Defeated Israel Adesanya In 2018. Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Vettori’s argument does have one questionable premise. The Italian is assuming that Whittaker would not be willing to fight just as quickly as him. If Vettori is correct in this assumption, though, he feels that a fight not being made between him and Adesanya would reveal two things about the sitting middleweight champion. 

“That would show, first of all, he’s not a man of his word. Because he said, ‘Oh, I want to be active. I want to come back soon (after losing to Blachowicz),’” Vettori continued. “And second, it’s gonna show that, like I said, he does not want to face me.”

Israel Adesanya most recently competed at UFC 259 on March 6. After failing to become a double champion and claim Jan Blachowicz’s light heavyweight title, “The Last Stylebender” committed to returning to the middleweight division and wants to remain active. Marvin Vettori believes that he is the most qualified middleweight who would be willing to accommodate Adesanya and fight him in the coming months, making him the next logical title defense for the champion. It may seem like a long shot, but as both Vettori and Whittaker learned this month, matchmaking can be very sudden, unpredictable, and dictated by availability.

Do you think Marvin Vettori has any legitimate argument for leapfrogging Robert Whittaker for a title shot against Israel Adesanya?

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