This Saturday at UFC 263, Israel Adesanya is back in action for the first time since trying unsuccessfully for two-time champion status.
The Nigerian-born New Zealander tried to dethrone lightweight champion Jan Blachowicz and it cost him the first loss of his professional MMA career.
However, he’s still the middleweight champion and he’s going to come back to 185 pounds – not that he’s ever really left that weight, even when he’s gone up – and he’s looking to clear the division before trying to come back up. new.
Marvin Vettori is his first middleweight fight and these two have a precedent.
Adesanya rose to 13-0 after beating the Italian in 2018, but it was a close split decision.
Vettori has won five fights in a row since that loss and once again won a chance against the now champion.
During press duties at a UFC hotel in Las Vegas, Vettori ambushed Adesanya to flout his rival. Typically, rivals are separated during media duties, but the challenger wanted to make sure Adesanya knew what he was thinking.
Here is the exchange:
Vettori: “Where’s my belt?”
Adesanya: “Which belt?
Vettori: “My belt!
Adesanya: “You have a Gucci belt, don’t you?
Vettori: “No, no belt yet.”
Adesanya: “Yeah, you should have one.”
Vettori: “I’m about to have mine. I’ll go get your brother.
Adesanya: “You won’t have mine.”
Vettori: “I’ll get yours my friend!”
Adesanya: “You are not my friend.”
The Last Stylebender has become one of the biggest names in the UFC since he and Vettori last faced off and he’s also been a lot more active than his nemesis.
He has had eight fights including two title defenses. Vettori represents a difficult proposition, but Adesanya is still talking about taking on people like Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and even catching up with Robert Whittaker in the near future.
Elsewhere on UFC 263, a five-round match between Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz is going to unfold where the winner will essentially be guaranteed a shot at winning the welterweight crown currently held by Kamaru Usman.