There’s a ton of bad blood between UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori as the pair gear up for their UFC 263 rematch.
Adesanya is set to return to his old stomping grounds at 185 pounds on Saturday to defend his title following a failed but valiant attempt to win a second belt from UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in March.
The setback marked the first loss of Adesanya’s MMA career, and it’s one Vettori reminded Adesanya of several times at Thursday’s pre-fight press event.
But considering the history between the two middleweights — Adesanya defeated Vettori via split decision in April 2018 — the Nigerian champion was quick to point out the difference between the ways the two have handled their most recent losses.
“I am a man – I step up even if I lost,” Adesanya said in front of a raucous crowd in Phoenix.
“Even if I lost, I take it and I accept it and I move on — unlike him. He holds onto that loss to me like it’s the biggest win of his career.”
“He’s telling himself a story to convince himself of bullsh*t, because his whole character is bullsh*t and he just believes in his own bullsh*t,” said Vettori, who’s argued for the better part of four years that he should’ve been the rightful victor of his first fight with Adesanya. “That’s what it is. It’s fake to the fullest.”
“Well, I’ll tell you this thing: This weekend you won’t need the judges,” Adesanya replied.
“I can tell you the same,” Vettori responded.
“Oh no, I will show the same,” Adesanya shot back. “Trust me, do your thing. What are you going to do, try and sniff my jock? You’re going to try to sniff my jock for five rounds, but in the second round you’re going to hit the floor. You’re going to be sniffing the floor with that plastered ass nose on the left side of your face.”
Adesanya (20-1) added that he didn’t believe Vettori deserved the title shot that’s been given to him, but vowed to prove a point in the rematch nonetheless.
“The Last Stylebender” said he took inspiration from the way his fellow Nigeria-born champion, Kamaru Usman, violently finished Jorge Masvidal in a rematch at UFC 261 after initially defeating Masvidal in a much more mundane effort in their first bout.
Watch the presser below.
Credit: MMA Fighting