Reigning UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya rematches former-foe, Marvin Vettori this weekend in the main event of UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona — and ahead of their return to the Gila River Arena which hosted their close split decision outing back in April of 2018, Adesanya has guaranteed that the judges sitting Octagon-side won’t have a say in the result of their re-run.
Renewing their rivalry three years following their first outing, Adesanya enters the rematch off the back of an unsuccessful light heavyweight excursion against champion, Jan Blachowicz back in March — suffering a unanimous decision loss to the gold holder in his bid to become a two-weight champion held simultaneously.
For Vettori, the Trento native is in the midst of a five-fight undefeated streak — which most recently seen him add the enigmatic Kevin Holland to a streak at UFC on ABC 2 in April in a short-notice showdown. Capitalising on some fortunate timing after the promotion had reportedly offered former champion, Robert Whittaker a clash against Adesanya, which he reportedly turned down citing a timeframe issue, Vettori was then inserted into the title landscape.
The #3 ranked Vettori remains unbeaten since that close split decision loss to Adesanya back in April of 2018, and despite landing two successful takedowns against the City Kickboxing standout, and landing more strikes in the third and final round, Adesanya’s significant output in rounds one and two seen him edge out a split judging victory to lodge his second Octagon win.
Tasked with returning from his first professional mixed martial arts when matched with Vettori once again this weekend in the ‘Copper State’ — Adesanya has claimed that the judges won’t be required this time around, guaranteeing a stoppage over the challenger.
“I can’t for the life of me understand, or how he and another judge can give that fight to him (Marvin Vettori) and say, ‘no, he won two of those rounds’,” Adesanya said during a promotional clip ahead of UFC 263. “What? What? Excuse me, what? Huh, nah, it doesn’t work that way. The judges are gonna be removed from the equation this time, guarantee you, 100%, they are going to be removed from the equation, I’ll guarantee you that.“
Adesanya and Vettori clearly share some animosity toward one another off the back of the split judging result three years ago in Arizona. And Adesanya has made his intentions clear in regards to what he plans to do to the Italian this weekend, which will leave no doubt between the two.
“I know what I did to him but here we are again,” Adesanya explained. “Be careful for what you ask for because you just might get it… He’s just literally delusional, he holds on to that loss to me better than his biggest wins of his career so I want to take that away from him and make sure there is no doubt when I take him out this time. I can’t wait to just beat the sh*t out of this guy, badly.” (H/T BJPENN.com)