UFC Star: ‘I’m the Only Guy That Can Beat Israel Adesanya!’

UFC Fighter Marvin Vettori

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A rising UFC star revealed to Heavy why he believes he’s the only fighter in the 185-pound middleweight division that can defeat UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Italy’s Marvin Vettori is the only fighter to have beaten Adesanya according to one official MMA judge. Adesanya defeated Vettori via split-decision back in April 2018, and Vettori is ready to make the rematch happen after his next fight.

“I’m the only guy that can beat Israel Adesanya at the moment,” Vettori said.

The “Italian Dream” takes on Jack “The Joker” Hermansson on December 5 in the main event of the latest UFC Fight Night card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

A late replacement in the fight this weekend for Kevin Holland (who tested positive for COVID-19), Vettori believes he already beat Adesanya the first time around and that his fight against the No. 4 ranked middleweight contender Hermansson on Saturday night is the perfect opportunity for him to show why he deserves next crack at middleweight gold.

“Well, I think I won the first fight, to be honest,” Vettori said. “This fight [against Hermansson] will be the chance for me to show [my level].”

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Vettori: ‘I Definitely Belong in the Higher Ranks of the Division’

Vettori was previously scheduled to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC 256 on December 12, but the Italian jumped at the chance to grab the main event slot at this weekend’s UFC Vegas 16 card against a top-rated contender.

“I definitely belong in the higher ranks of the division,” Vettori said. “Definitely, this fight will fasten up the process of me getting to the title.”

Vettori believes he’s the best fighter in the 185-pound division right now, and he plans to show that against Hermansson.

“I’m happy I get the chance to show what I’m about,” Vettori said.

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 Oddsmakers Favor Vettori Over Hermansson

Vettori enters his big fight on a three-fight win streak. The 27-year-old considers himself the best-kept secret in the UFC, but one that’s about to be fully revealed to the world.

“I feel like there’s a general public that doesn’t’ know yet,” Vettori said. “I believe I’m the best in the world. But a lot of the general public doesn’t know. Funny thing, if you see the odds, I’m the favorite, and I’m fighting the No. 4-ranked fighter in the world.”

Indeed, Vettori is currently ranked No. 13 in the division per the UFC, but oddsmakers around the world have still tabbed him as the favorite over the No. 4-ranked Hermansson this weekend.

Bovada lists Vettori at -140 (bet $100 to win $71.43) with Hermansson following at +110 (bet $100 to win $110).


Vettori Just Kept Training and Growing

Vettori credits his rise in the sport to his constant work inside and outside the cage. The fighter said his mindset is one of constant improvement, and that every single time he enters the UFC’s Octagon on fight night he’s the best fighter that he’s ever been.


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So the biggest difference between the 2-2-1 fighter that got his start with the company four years ago and the one now that has won his last three fights in a row is the experience he’s gained over time.

“I was green,” Vettori said. “I kept training, and I kept growing. I feel like back then I was just a kid showing up with big balls and a lot of heart, now I have all of those plus I’m better at…everything. I’m just a lot more experienced.”


Vettori Aims To Be UFC’s First Italian Champion

Vettori plans on becoming the first UFC champ from Italy in history.

That’s a big goal, but the fighter is already making history and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I’m already making history. This is the first UFC main event headlined by an Italian fighter,” Vettori said. “I feel like Saturday I’ll walk in with the support of every Italian. It will be awesome. It will be epic.”

READ NEXT: List of UFC Fighters With Titles in Multiple Weight Classes

Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

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