Self-belief is an important attribute for any athlete. And, whether you like him or not, you can’t deny that Marvin Vettori has it in spades. Recently he told MMA Junkie about how much better he was than Israel Adesanya when they met for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 263 in June. Adesanya won that fight, by the way, by unanimous decision.
“You know I just felt like [Adesanya] was very smart in there,” said Vettori (ht Sportskeeda). “With that being said, he wasn’t better. He wasn’t like more skilled. He didn’t have more cardio. He knew he was a champion and he didn’t really want to engage with me in a lot of exchanges in general.”
UFC 263 wasn’t the first time Vettori fought Adesanya. The pair met in 2018, too, in ‘The Last Stylebender’’s second UFC appearance. Adesanya won that bout by split decision.
Vettori did give Adesanya some props. He declared that his opponent was good at “playing to the crowd” and had an ability to view the fight from afar.
“He was able to see the situation from the outside, from a third eye almost. He used that to his advantage, meanwhile I didn’t use it or almost I let it play against me because I had like blinders on.”
Vettori earned his rematch with Adesanya, for a title, after a five fight win streak that included a finish of Karl Roberson and decisions over Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland.
Next up, the Italian is expected to face Paulo Costa, someone who also probably thinks he’s better than Adesanya, in the main event of UFC Vegas 41.