Marvin Vettori is clearly not a fan of Israel Adesanya and his approach to fighting.
The one-time title challenger has once again slammed the current UFC middleweight champion for what he deems as an unwillingness to engage with his opponents during fights. Though frustrating for him to deal with, the strategy has served quite well for Adesanya, who has now bested Vettori on two separate occasions at UFC on FOX 29 and UFC 263.
The ‘Italian Dream’ previously said that ‘Stylebender’ was not a better fighter than him, and it appears as though he is doubling down on that sentiment. In a recent interview with EsNews, Vettori explained why he cannot stand how Adesanya fights, especially as an undisputed champion.
“The way Adesanya fights, he fights like a b—ch, bro,” said Vettori. “I swear. He fought me like a b—ch. He fought [Yoel] Romero like a b—ch. When he knows, like he can’t really hurt a guy or nothing, he’ll fight like — he’ll fight, he’ll run, he’ll score. He’s like, ‘Oh, you got to beat me to become the champion.’ His mentality is not like, ‘I’m the champion, I’m going to f—k you up.’ That’s my f—king reign. He’s thinking like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna cruise. If you want to come and beat me, you’ll have to beat me.’ That’s how he thinks.”
Because of his supposed lack of championship mentality, Vettori believes Adesanya should not be considered a pound-for-pound great. The City Kickboxing talent is No. 3 on that list, right behind teammate and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and longtime friend and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Vettori said he considers the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ as the No. 1 pound-for-pound great, not Adesanya.
“That, to me, [he] will never be — he can’t be the pound-for-pound best,” said Vettori. “Pound-for-pound best is like, ‘You’re f—king with the champion, this is my reign, I’m gonna destroy you.”
Despite being 0-2 against him, Vettori is still pursuing another fight with Adesanya in the near future. The 28-year-old has already rebounded from his defeat with an entertaining unanimous decision (at light heavyweight) over Paulo Costa at UFC Vegas 41 last October. Following that performance, UFC president Dana White was keen on Vettori as a backup for the upcoming rematch between Adesanya and Robert Whittaker set to take place at UFC 271 next month.
However, the Italian received a potential six-month medical suspension for injuries suffered in the Costa fight, so whether he can be ready to step in for either man has not been revealed at this time.
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