The UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya takes on Marvin Vettori in the main event of UFC 263. This is a quick turnaround for Marvin Vettori considering he fought Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 23 in April. But, Adesanya was the one who decided to make his octagon return in June after his loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259.
Now fans have speculated many things about Adesanya fighting Vettori instead of taking on the number one contender, Robert Whittaker. Fans have accused Israel Adesanya of ducking Robert Whittaker after his masterclass against Kelvin Gastelum.
Israel Adesanya had one of the closest fights of his MMA career when he took on Kelvin Gastelum. However, Robert Whittaker dominated Gastelum in his last fight and it seems he is a huge threat to Adesanya’s middleweight throne. And that is the reason fans have come up with the narrative that Adesanya wanted to fight Whittaker on short notice to have an advantage over him.
However, that is not the case at all. In a recent video, Israel Adesanya admitted that he wanted to fight Robert Whittaker. However, he wanted to make a return in June 2021. Adesanya explained:
“I wanted to fight Rob after seeing him with Kelvin. But, Marvin was like I want to go in October, Rob was like I want to go in September. I was like I am going in June, whoever wants it, step up. And the Italian stepped up. So kudos to him.”
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Israel Adesanya takes a dig at Marvin Vettori
Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori have already fought once and the outcome did not go in the favor of Vettori. But, Vettori believes that he won the fight despite the judges scores leaning towards Adesanya. The middleweight champion mocked Marvin Vettori for his claims and predicted a violent finish in the rematch. Adesanya explained:
“Kamaru just gave him a little taste of what it’s like you already know the person, and he is still holding on to that. F****g single-leg, like he is holding on to that loss. he has been holding on to that loss better than his best wins.”
Marvin Vettori is certainly a threat to Adesanya because of his ground game. However, Vettori still needs to test his skills against the top contenders in the division before he takes on Israel Adesanya.
Israel Adesanya has improved significantly since he last fought Marvin Vettori. And though Vettori has looked good in his last few fights he will struggle against Adesanya when it comes to striking. Though credit must be given to Vettori for taking the fight on short notice if he loses this one then it will detrimental to his career as he would lose twice to the champion of the division.