Adesanya ready to 'finish the job' against familiar foe Vettori

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

They've fought against each other in the octagon back in April 2018 and the three-round bout went Israel Adesanya's way.

Now they meet again in the same arena they first traded fists in but under very different circumstances, as UFC middleweight champion Adesanya defends the gold against 'The Italian Dream' Marvin Vettori.

When they first met, Adesanya and Vetorri went the distance in their three-round fight in Glendale, Arizona. Both men were on the rise in their UFC careers but it was 'The Last Stylebender' who would come out on top by way of split decision.

Watch how the first battle went down. Source:

Over the three years since then, both men have had seen career advances.

Adesanya has fought UFC legend Anderson Silva, taken the middleweight title from Robert Whittaker in front of a record-breaking spectator-filled stadium in Melbourne, and successfully defended the gold twice against challengers Yoel Romero and Paulo Costa. His only UFC loss happened earlier this year when he tried to become a two-division champ against light heavyweight titleholder Jan Blachowicz.

"I want to make sure there is no doubt when I take him [Vettori] out this time," Adesanya says.

But Vettori has been on the rise too. Since his loss to Adesanya, he has had a five-fight win streak on his road to the gold.

Not only does their second bout mean he hopes to avenge his loss but also he hopes to become Italy's first UFC champion - something he feels deep inside is his destiny.

"I'll win the championship. I'll do it for Italy. To the maximum!" Vettori says

Both men prep in their fight camps. Credit:

But just yesterday, the fighters got each other's blood boiling.

Their first interview together, mediated by UFC legend Michael Bisping, showed no love lost between the two for the entirety of the 11-minute video.

Insults ran throughout the entire interview - from both men. Credit:

Reflecting back on that fateful night, No 3 ranked Vettori says, "I think I won that fight but now we get to settle that score."

It was enough for 'The Last Stylebender' to laugh. Vettori replied: "He laughs but he's gonna see when I settle the score once and for all who is the best middleweight around."

Adesanya scorns that reply: "The fact that he actually still thinks, and that he holds on to that loss like it's the best win of his life."

It was a back-and-forth between the two that left Bisping unable to interject as both Adesanya and Vettori threw expletive-filled verbal jab after expletive-filled verbal jab. 

Come this Sunday June 13, 2pm [main card starting, NZ time], the real jabs will be thrown as Adesanya vs Vettori 2 main events a stacked pay-per-view card for UFC 263.

And as with previous trips to the UFC, Adesanya won't be going alone.

Riddell to return

Fellow lightweight and City Kickboxing teammate Brad 'Quake' Riddell makes his return to the octagon.

"Quake" was originally meant to fight Gregor Gillespie back in March this year but the bout was cancelled due to Covid-19 protocols.

He hopes to keep his three-fight win streak in the UFC alive when he goes one-on-one with Drew Dober in the UFC 263 prelim fights and continue to the top of the lightweight division. 

What the post said. Credit: 'Quake' Riddell