After losing twice to Israel Adesanya, Marvin Vettorri is doing all he can to convince himself that he’s still the better fighter.
Vettori had his five-fight win-streak and title hopes dashed by Adesanya when the duo met for the second time at UFC 263 in June. In the years between that outing and their first in 2018, which Adesanya won by split decision, Vettori had promised doubters that he would best the Nigerian in a rematch. “The Italian Dream” was instead this time defeated by unanimous decision.
Following both defeats to Adesanya, Vettori anointed himself the winner. And after the first, he offered all manner of rationalizations to justify the claim. Chief amongst them, that the judges had erred by scoring Adesanya’s feints, jabs and leg kicks more favorably than Marvin’s ring control and aggression.
Vettori Claims He’s Superior To Adesanya, Offers Reasons Why He Lost
Now four months removed from his second loss to Adesanya, Vettori is manufacturing a fresh set of theories as to how on earth he could have possibly been bested once more. Speaking to MMA JUNKIE, the 28-year-old provided his post-mortem of the fight, the unfavorable result of which he puts down to Israel’s smarts and a nebulous ability to “corner himself.”
“He was very smart in there and he fought a very smart fight,” Vettori said (h/t MMA JUNKIE). “With that being said, he wasn’t better. He wasn’t better at all in general. He wasn’t more skilled. He didn’t have more cardio. He didn’t have more anything, really. He was smart. He knew he was a champion. He didn’t really want to engage with me in a lot of things. Exchanges in general.
“One thing he was good at, he was able to play the crowd and kind of like almost be his own cornering in a sense. He had his own cornering, obviously, but he also had his like, he was his own corner. He was able to see the situation a little bit more from outside, from a third eye, almost.”
Vettori admitted that he made a mistake by falling victim to the wily tactics of Adesanya. But much like after the first loss, “The Italian Dream” fiercely maintains that in a subsequent bout, he’ll finally get the better of the middleweight champ, who he believes is the inferior fighter.
“I did a mistake and I paid for it,” Vettori said.
“But, you know, I really realized I can really beat this guy and I’m actually better than this guy. Two days after it’s like, ‘If we redo this fight, I’m going to beat this guy. Clean.’”
“But that’s it. Now I have to just reclaim my spot, and I feel like this is a fight (against Costa) that regardless of being champion or not, I would have won. I would have won this fight.”
What do you think? Is Marvin Vettori a better fighter than Adesanya, or is he in denial?