Marvin Vettori put up a good fight against Israel Adesanya at UFC 263, but it wasn’t enough to take the belt back home to Italy.
Vettori set the pace for five rounds and had some success with takedowns but ultimately couldn’t adapt to Adesanya’s leg kicks, which were the most significant strikes of the fight.
‘The Italian Dream’ had a hard time accepting the result and feels the scoring was a tad harsh, with all three judges scoring the bout 50-45 in favor of ‘The Last Stylebender’.
“I think I did a lot of good things,” Vettori told BT Sport after the fight (h/t Damon Martin of MMA Fighting). “I was having a lot of success with the boxing exchanges. Story of this fight was the leg kick, I guess. I went back and I talked to my coaches, I think the 50-45 was definitely not the right decision but it is what is.”
Vettori at one point took Adesanya’s back and worked a rear-naked choke but said the latter was too slippery and elusive on the ground, with Adesanya ultimately reversing the position and establishing top control of his own.
“He’s really slippery,” Vettori said about Adesanya. “He has his own game, his own way of staying on the ground. He does what he does and he’s game in his own way. He might not be offensive or anything but defensively he’s pretty good.”
Vettori is still bitter about the result but admits that he didn’t do enough to win the fight.
“With that being said, I had all the cards to beat him but I didn’t,” he acknowledged. “I said coming in I would leave no doubt and even if I would have won, I would have left doubts and at the end of the day, I didn’t do enough.”
“Right after the fight, I thought I won. I thought I won and he’s like ‘no, you didn’t win.’ He was like ‘at the end of the day, respect, we don’t like each other but respect’ and I said you know what, we share the octagon for eight rounds now, for 40 minutes basically. At the end of the day, you’ve got to give some props.”
At just 27-years-old Vettori is taking no time off and is determined to do whatever it takes to become champion.
“At the end of the day, I’m 27 years old. I’m going to go back to the hotel, I’m going to go and run. I’m going to go and run and do like a five-mile run. I didn’t even take a hot shower because I feel like I don’t deserve it. That’s how crazy I am. I’m going to go back and work and get ready for the next fight.”
Vettori holds impressive victories over Kevin Holland and Jack Hermansson and is currently ranked #3 in the UFC middleweight rankings.