UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya answers the question regarding why he is fighting Marvin Vettori instead of the no.1 contender Robert Whittaker.
The UFC is finalizing a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori for UFC 263 as per UFC President Dana White. Many people objected to that as the clear no.1 contender in the division is Robert Whittaker who is on a three-fight winning streak but instead, Israel chose to fight Marvin Vettori who he already beat when they first fought in 2018.
Vettori is currently riding a five-fight win streak, including a decision win against Kevin Holland in his most recent performance. Vettori was one of the few fighters who Israel Adesanya could not finish. He even won the fight on one judge’s scorecard. Since that fight, he has gotten better and believes the outcome will be different when he fights Adesanya again.
Israel Adesanya talks about not fighting Robert Whittaker
Many UFC fans and critics got upset with Israel Adesanya choosing the Vettori rematch over the Whittaker rematch. According to White, June was too quick of a time frame for Whittaker to turn around. Whittaker told ESPN after his last fight that he wanted some time to recover from the injuries he sustained in his recent outing which included bruised up shin. While Adesanya wanted to fight in June and wasn’t ready to wait until September or October to fight Robert.
“Well, I wanted to fight Rob after I saw him with Kelvin. Marvin’s like, ‘I want to go in October.’ Rob’s like, ‘I want to go in September.’ I’m like, ‘Look, I’m going in June. Whoever wants it, step up.’ The Italian stepped up, so kudos to him. But yeah, we already know,” Adesanya said.
Adesanya (20-1) is coming off a loss and a failed attempt to become the two-weight champion. The New Zealand based fighter challenged light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 on March 6 in Las Vegas. The bout was competitive, however, Adesanya lost a unanimous decision. He had a striking advantage over Jan, but his power and wrestling skills were no match to the polish powerhouse who took Adesanya down, and from there on the fight was in the hands of Jan.
Israel Adesanya also thinks that Vettori hasn’t moved past his loss against him in 2018.
Adesanya said “You know you have their number, and he’s still holding onto that f*cking single leg, like he’s holding onto that loss. So proud of that loss. He’s holding onto that loss better than his best wins, so I’m in his head, rent-free, camping.”
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