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‘The division needs a new champ’ - Marvin Vettori slams Israel Adesanya after UFC 276

One of middleweight’s top-ranked talents took a shot at the UFC champ following a less than thrilling victory over Jared Cannonier.

Marvin Vettori reacts to a head kick from Israel Adesanya during their 2021 title fight.
Marvin Vettori reacts to a head kick from Israel Adesanya during their 2021 title fight.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Marvin Vettori may not be the man to make it happen, but it sounds like the ‘Italian Dream’ believes that Israel Adesanya’s reign over the middleweight division will be ending soon. Vettori first faced the ‘Last Stylebender’ inside the Octagon back in 2018, in just the second UFC bout for the former kickboxing star. Adesanya walked away from that contest with a mildly controversial decision, but when the two men met again three years later—with the strap on the line—there was little doubt about who was the better man in the cage.

Adesanya out-landed Vettori at a near 2-to-1 clip for significant strikes in their second bout, putting him 2-0 against the longtime Kings MMA talent. The victory seemingly closed the door on Vettori’s hopes for title contention as long as Adesanya held the belt. Maybe that’s why the 28-year old sounds like he’s actively rooting for the City Kickboxing fighter’s time as the king of 185 to come to an end.

Following an admittedly less than thrilling—but still decisive—victory for Adesanya over Jared Cannonier, Vettori took to Twitter to air out his frustrations with the champ.

Vettori is currently set to face off agianst former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC Paris: Gane vs. Tuivasa, on September 3rd. The bout is just the second for the Italian, since losing his rematch to Adesanya in 2021. Whittaker and Vettori were first scheduled to meet back on June 11th, at UFC 275, but the bout had to be delayed due to a nagging injury for the ‘Reaper’.

Even should Vettori win walk away from that fight with the win, it seems unlikely that he’d be next in line for a title shot. Not only is he already winless in two attempts against Adesanya, Alex Pereira’s UFC 276 KO victory over Sean Strickland has lined the Brazilian up perfectly for top contender status. Pereira notably holds two victories over Adesanya in the kickboxing ring, including the only knockout loss of the Nigerian-born New Zealander’s career, back in 2017. That defeat marked the end of Adesanya’s career in the ring, and a full time move over to MMA.

No word yet on when Adesanya and Pereira might meet, but it’s hard to imagine any other fight coming in next for the middleweight title.