Israel Adesanya has no doubt he was the superior fighter in his title clash against Marvin Vettori. However, 'The Italian Dream' doesn't agree with that.
Adesanya and Vettori headlined UFC 263 in June earlier this year. After five rounds, it was the New Zealander who walked away victorious.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Vettori said that although Adesanya won the fight, he didn't look "more skilled." The Italian acknowledged that his rival preferred to play it "smart" and eke out a decision victory.
"You know, I just felt like [Israel Adesanya] was very smart in there. With that being said, he wasn't better. He wasn't like, more skilled. He didn't have more cardio. He knew he was a champion and he didn't really want to engage with me in a lot of exchanges in general."
Watch Vettori's full interview with MMA Junkie below:
As expected, Vettori's comments didn't sit well with Adesanya. The champ took to Twitter to fire back at the No.5-ranked middleweight.
In his tweet, 'The Last Stylebender' suggested that being the smarter fighter goes hand in hand with being the better one.
At UFC 263, Adesanya convincingly defeated Vettori via unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 50-45 in his favor. After their five-round contest, Vettori told Adesanya he thought he had done enough to win the fight.
Marvin Vettori also believes he won his first fight against Israel Adesanya
Marvin Vettori fought Israel Adesanya for the first time in 2018 at UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje. On the back of 12 consecutive knockouts, Adesanya was expected to finish Vettori as well.
'The Italian Dream', however, held his own and went the distance with the current middleweight champ. For the first and only time in his MMA career to date, Adesanya won the fight via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
When Bruce Buffer read the judges' scorecards, a disappointed Vettori stormed out of the cage. In the lead-up to UFC 263, he claimed it was the judges who gifted that victory to Adesanya.
Vettori is set to fight Paulo Costa next. He will challenge the Brazilian in a five-round bout on October 23, 2021.
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