UFC 263 headliner, Marvin Vettori has laid out his plans to make his way back to a middleweight title shot following his second decision loss to Israel Adesanya on Saturday night — calling for a bout against fellow one-time title challenger, Paulo Costa next.
Taking main event status at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, Trento challenger, Vettori managed to score four successful takedowns against champion, Adesanya over the course of their five round rematch, however, found himself on the receiving end of a slew of punishing leg kicks, as well as some notable counters off the fence.
Suffering his second defeat against the Nigerian-Kiwi — Vettori slumped to a one-sided 50-45 (x3) unanimous decision, snapping his five-fight undefeated streak, which began following an April 2018 split decision loss to Adesanya at the same venue.
Following the victory, Vettori spoke with BT Sports reporter, Caroline Pearce, where he reflected on the defeat, and noted his interest in a meeting against the above-mentioned, Costa — who himself has hit the headlines over the last week.
“I think I did a lot of good things (against Israel Adesanya), I think the boxing exchanges — I was having a lot of success with the boxing exchanges,” Vettori said. “The story of this fight was the leg kicks, I guess. I went back and talked to my coaches, I think 50-45 was not the right decision.“
“It is what is it, at the end of the day I’m 27-years-old,” Vettori continued. “I’m going to go back to the hotel, I’m going to go and run. Do a five-mile run. I didn’t even take a hot shower because I don’t even think I deserve it. I’m going to go back and work and get ready for the next fight.“
Whilst a potential showdown against once-scheduled opponent, Darren Till was floated by Pearce, Vettori questioned if the Liverpool native would actually show up to the bout this time after a broken collarbone forced him from an April meeting. The Kings MMA native instead has sights fixed on the “drunk“, Costa.
“I mean, if [Darren Till] can show up, eventually,” Vettori replied. “But to be honest, I (I’d) like to really destroy this drunk guy who can’t stay off drinking, ‘Borrachinha‘. Either way, I’m game, I’m as game as it comes, I’ll always show up. You can count on me, when there’s a fight, a date, I will show up. So we’ll see.“
For Costa, the Belo Horizonte native was expected to meet with Jared Cannonier at a UFC Fight Night event in August, however, according to reports, he withdrew from the bout — a fight he has since claimed, he never actually signed for.
The Brazilian has been replaced by former interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum for the second bout running after severe flu forced him from an April showdown against former undisputed champion, Robert Whittaker.
Calling for a bigger fight purse, Costa questioned how YouTubers like Jake and Logan Paul can make bigger paychecks than mixed martial arts fighters, by competing in professional and exhibition boxing matches.