Marvin Vettori and Israel Adesanya faced off in a fiery rematch in the main event of UFC 263 in June 2021. They had previously met as relatively unknowns just three years prior to that. The rematch had many believing that Vettori could produce an upset, just like he almost come close to producing one in 2018 (wouldn’t have been an upset back then).
This time around, at UFC 263, Marvin Vettori was beaten fair and square by Israel Adesanya. Izzy ended up winning via. unanimous decision, and thereby successfully defended his middleweight title. It has been over four months since UFC 263, and Vettori still believes that ‘The Last Stylebender’ wasn’t in control of the fight.
In a recent interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Vettori stated that Adesanya just gave an illusion of being in control, when he really wasn’t. However, ‘The Italian Dream’ did acknowledge that the Nigerian-born New Zealander clearly outsmarted him during the fight.
“He wasn’t any better, he was smarter” – Marvin Vettori on Israel Adesanya
Vettori said, “You know? I learnt a lot…He wasn’t any better, he was smarter. He fought a really smart fight. I definitely did a few mistakes, and I’ve been working on it…I don’t feel like he was that (much) in control. He gave a feeling to the crowd that got the crowd thinking he was in full control, which I don’t think he was because he didn’t have that many weapons that he could use against me actually.” [firstsportz.com]
Vettori has an important assignment coming up, this weekend. He will be taking on number 2 ranked middleweight Paulo Costa in a fiery headliner bout at UFC Vegas 41. A win for either one of them, would once again put them in talks of a title fight. It is worth noting that both Vettori and Costa are coming off title-fight losses to Israel Adesanya.
Izzy, meanwhile, will face Robert Whittaker in a rematch, probably during early 2022. The pair agreed to the same in the immediate aftermath of UFC 263, following an Izzy post-fight interview callout.