Vettori and Adesanya clashed for the second time in the main event of the June pay-per-view. The pair had previously fought at UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje in 2018. In their first contest, the surging Nigerian-New Zealander emerged victorious via split decision.
While Adesanya rose up to become the UFC Middleweight Champion, “The Italian Dream” quietly worked his way into title contention with victories over Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, and Karl Roberson. Main event wins against Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland extended his win streak to five and booked him a rematch with “The Last Stylebender.”
Inside Glendale’s Gila River Arena, Adesanya made his third successful title defense. After a largely comfortable five rounds, the champ was awarded a unanimous decision victory.
In the aftermath of the fight, Vettori humored Adesanya and fans by claiming he’d won the fight. While many had hoped that the comment came in the heat of the moment, it appears the Italian is still holding onto the idea he should have emerged with the gold.
In a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Vettori suggested he would have had his hand raised had he been the champion in the matchup. He also asserted that he will certainly meet Adesanya in a trilogy bout later down the line.
“There’s no way I won’t see him again. It’s just impossible. And I was saying the same thing after the first fight, and I know this time also. I want to be remembered as that guy that actually fought them all at their best, beat them all, became the champion, and eventually made history, beaten all the best. Like, this fight is a fight that—I probably would’ve won this fight even if I was the champion. So what drives me is to beat the best and always being there and showing that I’m the hungriest guy in the top 5. And I don’t think that there’s any way that I’m not gonna face him again.”
For now, Vettori’s focus must be on his next outing. The #5-ranked middleweight is set to collide with fellow former title challenger Paulo Costa in this weekend’s UFC Vegas 41 main event. With Costa’s last appearance ending in defeat at the hands of the champion last September, both men will be entering the cage on Saturday off the back of title defeats to Adesanya.
Who do you think will have their hand raised in the UFC Vegas 41 main event, Marvin Vettori or Paulo Costa?