Recent big winner, Marvin ‘The Italian Dream’ Vettori has already once clashed with undisputed UFC middleweight titleholder, Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya during their respective Octagon rises, and has recently claimed that as long as he and the Nigerian-Kiwi are both competing, he’ll be the latter’s “worse f*cking nightmare“”.
Drafting in on short-notice at UFC Vegas 16 last weekend at the UFC Apex in ‘Sin City’ — Vettori scored the most high-profile victory of his career. Battling five-rounds with former Cage Warriors gold holder, Jack ‘The Joker’ Hermansson, Vettori took home a unanimous decision victory, shattering the Swedish-born grappler’s eye-socket in the process.
The triumph came as Vettori’s fourth on the bounce, and enough for him to catapult himself from the #12 rank as high as the #5 spot in the official middleweight pile.
Vettori, 27, last suffered a professional defeat against City Kickboxing standout, Adesanya back at UFC Fight Night Glendale in April of 2018, dropping a close split decision to the 20-0 striker. And while he’s likely a win away from a possible rematch with Adesanya — who is expected to move to the light heavyweight division early next year, Vettori claimed he’s still a problem for Adesanya.
“It’s just nice to prove this guy (Israel Adesanya) wrong,” Vettori said in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “To kind of show him I’m right back in his face I’m right here, motherf*cker. Just look in my eyes. I’m going to be your worst f*cking nightmare until the day you f*cking retire. That’s what it is.“
“I’m sure he’s feeling it,” Vettori continued. “He didn’t say nothing but he’s feeling the pressure. There’s nobody that’s coming out with such an overwhelming force in the division [as me]. With such hunger and will to become the champion. There’s nobody like this. He’s definitely feeling it. If I had to defend the belt against me, I would not feel calm, relaxed. I’d be feeling pretty stressed. I feel like he’s feeling that way, too.“
While Adesanya makes the impending leap to 205-pounds, it will prove interesting to see what plans the promotion have for the contenders lying in wait at 185-pounds, with Vettori almost certain to feature in a title-eliminator next, against any combination of Paulo Costa, Darren Till, or former division kingpin, Robert Whittaker.