Marvin Vettori is looking to cut the line into a championship bout after his main event win at UFC on ESPN 19.
Vettori (16-4-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC), who beat Jack Hermansson (21-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) by unanimous decision in Saturday’s middleweight headliner at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, originally called out Paulo Costa after his win in pursuit of a title shot.
However, not long after, he changed his mind, and said a title bout should be on deck.
“Before I called out ‘Borrachinha,’ but to be honest with you, (expletive) ‘Borrachinha.’ He just came out of a crazy loss. Why would I even fight him?” Vettori told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at the post-fight news conference. “I want to go straight to the title, man. I’ll be honest, I like the fight, but I feel like the top five there’s no opposition. There’s no real opposition.
“(Jared) Cannonier just lost, Darren Till is – I don’t even think he’s top five – ‘Borrachinha’ just lost brutally and Jack was No. 4. (Robert) Whittaker wants to just enjoy Christmas with his kids, but I don’t blame him it just doesn’t really seem like he wants to fight for the title.”
Vettori served as a replacement opponent against Hermansson in their matchup, and ended up putting on a strong performance over five rounds to claim the win. He’s now won four consecutive fights, and is likely to find himself highly ranked at 185 pounds in the coming days.
For the Italian, the win was a big stepping stone to his ultimate goal: A rematch with Israel Adesanya (20-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC). He fought the reigning UFC champ to a split decision at UFC on FOX 29 in April 2018, and has since expressed the belief he deserved the win, which he would solidify in a second showdown.
“Israel is full of (expletive),” Vettori said. “He was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think I will ever see Marvin again, he will never will make it to the title.’ Well guess what mother(expletive)? I’m here. So, he thinks he has it all figured out. He has nothing figured out. I know his true colors. I met him a few times. I fought him. I knew his true colors. I want that fight.”
Vettori brushed off the notion that Adesanya will follow through on a move up to the light heavyweight division, and predicted Glover Teixeira will get the title shot against champ Jan Blachowicz instead.
If Adesanya does get the shot at the 205-pound belt, though, that means Vettori will have to fight someone else.
UFC president Dana White was presented with the idea of a Vettori vs. Costa (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) bout, and although he didn’t commit to making it, his interest was obvious.
“I love that fight,” White said at the post-fight news conference. “Love it. We’ll see (if we make it), but I love that fight.”