The UFC’s newest star was born last Saturday and he is eyeing middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Italy’s Marvin Vettori put on the performance of his career, toppling the No. 4 ranked middleweight at the time, Jack Hermansson, in the main event of UFC Vegas 16. “The Italian Dream” won the bout by unanimous decision and on Tuesday, he ascended the middleweight rankings from No. 13 to No. 5.
Vettori is currently on a four-fight win streak, with his last loss coming at the hands of Adesanya himself. The two battled during UFC on FOX: Poirier vs. Gaethje in April 2018 and “The Last Stylebender” edged out the victory via split decision.
The Italian Dream is ready to get that one back, wanting to meet Adesanya inside the Octagon once more. He believes he has the skills to win the championship and he’s on a mission for gold.
“I feel like I can be the world champion today and there is still so much room for improvement,” Vettori said in a recent interview with TMZ. “So, these guys are f*****, man.”
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Vettori Said That Adesanya Is ‘Not a Courageous Guy,’ Wants to Dethrone ‘Bulls*** A*** Champion’ Adesanya
There is no love lost between Adesanya and Vettori and The Italian Dream had strong words for the champion while speaking recently with TMZ.
“I know Israel, and I’ve said it over and over, he’s not a courageous guy, ” Vettori continued. “He’s really not a courageous guy. He takes steps for where he knows he can take steps forward. In a strategy of war, it’s a smart thing to do. But, being courageous is a different thing [and] he’s not courageous.”
Above all else, Vettori wants to earn the title and become the first Italian UFC champion. And to make it even sweeter, Vettori wants to take the belt off of The Last Stylebender.
“I want to be the legitimate #1 contender for this f**king title,” Vettori said. “And then I want to be the one that dethrones that bulls*** a** champion called Israel Adesanya.”
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Vettori Wants to Fight Former Middleweight Champ & No. 1 Contender Robert Whittaker
The Italian Dream wants a title fight, however he realizes that his chances of receiving a title shot immediately are low. The Last Stylebender is planning a move up to light heavyweight to challenge current champ Jan Blachowicz and become a simultaneous two-division champion. The potential bout has yet to be announced by the UFC and it’s unclear when it will take place.
Vettori, who called out No. 2 ranked middleweight Paulo Costa during his post-fight interview at UFC Vegas 16, has shifted his focus to No. 1 ranked and former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker, hoping to defeat “The Reaper” to earn a title shot or an interim belt.
“I wanna go after the title. And, if anything, fight for the No. 1 contender spot,” Vettori said. “And, if [Adesanya] goes away, fight for an interim title. And, I think the most legitimate guy out there, the No. 1 legitimate contender is now Robert Whittaker. And once he’s back from enjoying Christmas with his kids, we can meet and settle it in the cage. I think that’s the plan and that’s definitely what I want.”
The Italian Dream told TMZ that his ultimate goal is to fight Adesanya for the middleweight title and “settle the score once and for all.” He also told the outlet that its the “mission of his life” to earn UFC gold.