Ahead of his rematch with Israel Adesanya, Marvin Vettori understands that he is carrying the weight of Italy as he enters the middleweight title fight.
Marvin Vettori last met Adesanya inside the UFC Octagon in 2018 where he would suffer a controversial split-decision loss. Initially, as the fight began, Adesanya’s sharp striking picked apart “The Italian Dream.” Then, when the fight entered the later rounds, Vettori came on strong, especially in the third round, where the Italian enacted a wrestling game plan that put now-champion Adesanya on the mat for 3 minutes and 18 seconds.
Middleweight champion Adesanya will look to enforce his status as the #1 middleweight in the world after he lost his first professional MMA fight in a failed attempt at a second title in a heavier weight class.
The two middleweights will now face each other at UFC 263 this Saturday, and the fight has become personal. However, for Marvin Vettori, it’s more than just a fight but a chance to represent his country of Italy. In a recent interview, Vettori speaks as to what it would mean to him to take a title home to his country.
“Everything, man. It will mean everything,” Vettori said to DAZN. “I just want to prove to people [and] every person in Italy that even if the odds are against you, we can do it. You just do what you’re supposed to every day, and you learn from it and you keep learning with an open mind. Things are going to happen day by day. Those days add up, you keep improving and you keep moving forward. That’s all that matters and one day you will be where you want to be and then you’re going to set new goals and so on.”
Vettori On Why There Aren’t More Italians In MMA
On the topic of the scarcity of Italians in the sport, the middleweight contender admits he is unsure as to why there aren’t more Italians competing in the sport of MMA. In fact, he even insists that perhaps the nation of Italy has become soft.
“I don’t know. A lot of Italians are getting getting softer over to be honest. Italy is getting soft for some reason. It’s a hard road to pursue. There’s not anybody pushing you in like the UK or America where fighting is a thing. It’ll be my mission to show people that this is the best sport ever and people should go for it.” Vettori stated.
In the end, it will be up to Vettori tonight to put Italy on the MMA map.
What fight are you most looking forward to at UFC 263?