Israel Adesanya Asked Marvin Vettori If He Was ‘Scared’ After Failed Rear-Naked Choke Attempt At UFC 263


UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya turned in arguably the most dominant performance of his reign as the 185lbs kingpin so far last night at UFC 263 — besting the #3 ranked Marvin Vettori for the second time since April of 2018 via a one-sided unanimous decision victory.

Countering the Italian expertly from round one all the way to the fifth and final frame, Adesanya chopped away time and time again with outside leg kicks to Vettori’s calf, in a similar tactical approach to his September successful defence against Brazil’s, Paulo Costa.

Finding himself on bottom position four times throughout the 25-minute limit distance, Adesanya began to sweep Vettori quite quickly, finding his way back to his feet and back into the striking realm which he had been so dominant in from the outset of the fight.

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Of real note for Vettori, he managed to take Adesanya’s back briefly during a scramble and attempted to follow in the path paved by co-headliner, Brandon Moreno on route to a flyweight title-clinching rear-naked choke over Deiveson Figueiredo, however, Adesanya successfully defended and spun into the Kings MMA staple’s guard. 

Speaking following his 50-45 (x3) unanimous decision win, Adesanya explained that he saw a dejected Vettori look up at him following the failed rear-naked choke attempt, before asking him if he was now “scared” — with the Italian seemingly running out of ideas.

He (Marvin Vettori) thought he had the rear-naked choke and I turned it on him,” Adesanya said to press assembled at the post-fight press conference. “I saw his soul leave his eyes at that moment.

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Exchanging some words with the Trento challenger, Adesanya claims he asked Vettori if he was scared as a result of the failed rear-naked choke attempt; “You’re scared aren’t you?

With his second victory over Vettori, Adesanya is likely set to meet with another past-foe in his next Octagon walk in the form of one-time undisputed middleweight best, Robert Whittaker — calling for the rematch to come in Auckland this time around, following their UFC 243 main event back in October of 2019. 

In the midst of a three-fight undefeated streak since his second round title unification loss to Adesanya, Whittaker has lodged three standout unanimous decision wins over fellow contenders, Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and in April, one-time interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum.