Surging UFC middleweight contender Marvin Vettori has sent a threatening message to the division’s reigning champion Israel Adesanya.
Vettori and Adesanya have fought previously, as Adesanya defeated the Italian by split decision back in 2018. Yet Vettori has not beaten since, and after extending his win-streak to four-straight with a huge win decision over Jack Hermansson last weekend, is well positioned for a potential championship rematch with the Nigerian-born Kiwi.
Speaking to MMA Fighting after his win over Hermansson, Vettori discussed a potential rematch with Adesanya, and wound up sending a pretty ominous message to the champion.
“It’s just so nice to prove this guy wrong,” Vettori said. “To kind of show him I’m right back in his face. I’m right here, motherf**ker. Just look in my eyes. I’m going to be your worst f**king nightmare until the day you f**king retire. That’s what it is.
“I’m sure he’s feeling it,” Vettori added. “He didn’t say nothing but he’s feeling the pressure. There’s nobody that’s coming out with such an overwhelming force in this division. With such hunger and will to become the champion. There’s nobody like this. He’s definitely feeling it. If I had to defend the belt against me, I would not feel calm, relaxed. I’d be feeling pretty stressed. I feel like he’s feeling that way, too.”
Adesanya is currently expected to move up to light heavyweight and challenge Jan Blachowicz for a second title in his next fight. Vettori admits he understands the appeal of becoming a two-division champion, but believes Adesanya still has work to do at middleweight.
“I think that he should fight the next guy in line for sure,” Vettori said. “If the UFC wants that fight, they can be 100 percent sure I’m going to answer that call. I feel like he wants to chase that greatness status, which in a sense is a little bit understandable, but he has to prove a lot of things first. One of the things he has to prove is that he’s the best. To do that, he has to fight me. Wherever he goes.
“I think in his mind, Blachowicz suits him well,” Vettori added. “Because he’s powerful but his striking can be read and he can do that. That’s why he prefers that fight plus there’s way less to lose like ‘I’m stepping up there and if it doesn’t go that way, I’m not losing my own title, I was just chasing an extra one.’ I feel like he still did nothing. He did not much.”
Who do you think would win a rematch between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori?