Headlining International Fight Week in Las Vegas earlier this month, Adesanya collided with the latest challenger to his lengthy 185-pound reign. Having previously brushed aside the efforts of Vettori, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, and Paulo Costa to dethrone him, “The Last Stylebender” had the power of Jared Cannonier to deal with.
Across five rounds, he did that relatively comfortably, outpointing “The Killa Gorilla” convincingly to secure a unanimous decision victory, which marked his fifth successful title retention.
But despite comfortably extending his unblemished middleweight record, the way in which Adesanya had his hand raised wasn’t pleasing to many. That includes the fans in attendance, who provided a soundtrack of boos throughout most of the July 2 headliner.
In the aftermath of the result, while the champ has defended his strategy, others have accused him of playing safe and delivering displays that directly go against his pre-fight remarks. The likes of Anthony Smith and Whittaker have shared that sentiment publicly, with the latter insisting that the recent criticism is entirely Adesanya’s fault.
The latest to join the ‘false advertisement’ brigade is another of the Nigerian-New Zealander’s former opponents — Marvin Vettori.
Vettori: Adesanya Didn’t Do Sh*t Versus Me
During a recent appearance on Brendan Schaub’s Food Truck Diaries, Vettori, who has shared the Octagon with Adesanya on two occasions, discussed the perception surrounding the champ’s latest defense.
While talk of a safe or unexciting reign has become more prominent following UFC 276, “The Italian Dream” believes it was no different from his own failed title challenge last June at UFC 263.
Recalling fight week, Vettori suggested that Adesanya had promised big things ahead of the event, only to not deliver in the way he had advertised.
“I remember in the press conference, he [Adesanya] was saying like, ‘Oh, my friend died,’ or something, ‘I’m gonna do it for him, destroy, dedicate, destroy,’ came out with a samurai mask — didn’t do f*cking sh*t,” Vettori said. “He ran for like five rounds and just leg-kicked me. He can’t be happy with that.”
Given that fact that Vettori initially expected to have his hand raised at the culmination of five rounds, his latest comments perhaps come as little surprise.
Do you agree with the growing sentiment about Israel Adesanya’s title reign? Are his defenses not as ‘advertised’?