“The Last Stylebender” will defend his UFC Middleweight Championship inside the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, this weekend. The headlining rematch with Vettori will be his third title defense, having successfully retained his belt against Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa in 2020.
Many have suggested Robert Whittaker, the man Adesanya defeated to win the 185-pound strap, has the best chance at dethroning the middleweight king. But “The Italian Dream” will set out to prove that theory wrong on Saturday.
Despite his opponent being unbeaten in nine UFC middleweight fights and boasting wins over the top contenders in the division, Vettori says Adesanya is not as good as the UFC and the media have made people believe.
“It was just a confirmation of a lot of things that I knew. Jan did a lot of good things. He was seeing a lot of things that he’s always trying to do. He won the fight clearly in my eyes. They (UFC) tried to make Israel bigger than what he is. They tried to build this picture where like he’s taller than he really is. They listed him at like 6-4. They built this image of him. It’s mainly hype.”
And despite a dominant reign as champion, Vettori says he’s never believed Adesanya is as good as the hype suggests.
“I never believed that hype. I wouldn’t even believe my own hype, I believe in hard work. That’s it. I believe in what I do everyday in training. I believe nobody’s hype. Jan went on and beat him. He’s like, ‘You want to come up here, I’m the champion right here. Come here to daddy, I’ll show you how it’s done.’ And that’s what he did. It was just a confirmation a lot of things that I already knew. It’s going to look the same on Saturday.”
Since a defeat to Adesanya in their first encounter back in 2018, Marvin Vettori has won six consecutive bouts, including main event wins over Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland.
On Saturday, Vettori says he’ll show the world that he’s the best in the division.
“He’s good, but he’s not as good as the media and the UFC picture him. At the end of the day, I don’t really care because I’m not trying to get the fight. I got the fight. I don’t really care. To me, the important thing is that I’m going to fight and I have the opportunity to show the world that I’m the best. That’s all I care about.”
Do you think Israel Adesanya is “overhyped?”