Israel Adesanya explains how Kamaru Usman inspired him to accept the Marvin Vettori fight

Marvin Vettori (left); Israel Adesanya (center); and Kamaru Usman (right).
Marvin Vettori (left); Israel Adesanya (center); and Kamaru Usman (right).
Prathik John

Israel Adesanya is all set for his upcoming assignment against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263. After deciding to return to the middleweight division post his maiden loss at light-heavyweight, the 31-year-old seems laser-focused on proving his doubters wrong. Inspired by Kamaru Usman's dominant knockout victory against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261, Israel Adesanya looks motivated to get back into the octagon.

"I wasn't as excited for that fight [Vettori] until I saw my man Kamaru dismantle Jorge Masvidal back-to-back. Not for Kamaru, but for Jorge. Kamaru beat Jorge, went on and knocked out Gilbert Burns, and then called out Jorge again and said - I want to fight that guy 'cause I'm going to finish him. And he did just that. Jorge fought him back-to-back and lost back-to-back. So just to put that nail in the coffin and silence him like he did. Watching that kind of inspired me."

While Adesanya and Vettori have squared off against each other in the past, the two were fairly new to the promotion at the time. However, Israel Adesanya believes he holds the upper hand against Vettori, with the Italian 'holding on to the loss' against him. This could prove to give Adesanya a huge mental advantage before their bout.

"I wanted to fight Rob after I’d seen him with Kelvin. Marvin was like, ‘I want to go in October.’ Rob was like, ‘I want to go in September.’ I’m like, ‘Look, I’m going in June. Whoever wants it, step up,’ and yeah, the Italian stepped up, so kudos to him. You know you have their number, and he’s still holding onto that f**king single leg, like he’s holding onto that loss. So proud of that loss. He’s holding onto that loss better than his best wins, so I’m in his head, rent-free, camping.”

Having gone the distance with the 'Last Stylebender' during their first encounter at UFC on Fox 29, Marvin Vettori believes he is closer than ever to beating the Nigerian-born New Zealander.

Marvin Vettori is currently the sixth-ranked contender in the middleweight division after going on a mightily impressive five-fight winning streak since his loss to Adesanya.

Israel Adesanya returns to the middleweight division

Coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, Israel Adesanya has kept his promise to head back to the 185-pound division. Although the challenge at light-heavyweight is sure to reside in his memory subconsciously, Adesanya will defend his middleweight belt for the foreseeable future.

Who do you think wins the rematch between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori? Be sure to leave us with your thoughts and predictions in the comment section below!

Edited by Utathya Ghosh
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