Israel Adesanya hasn’t added ‘any new tools’ ahead of UFC 263, says Vettori as he bids to make Italian MMA history
MARVIN VETTORI reckons Israel Adesanya hasn’t made any major improvements to his game ahead of their eagerly-anticipated rematch.
Vettori, 27, will bid to end the Nigerian-born Kiwi’s dominant reign as middleweight king early on Sunday morning in the main event of UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona.
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4Marvin Vettori will rematch Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 263 in ArizonaCredit: UFC4The pair locked horns with one another three years ago at the very same arena where they’ll renew their rivalryCredit: GETTYThe Italian Dream suffered a split-decision defeat to Adesanya three years ago but hasn’t seen too much in the way of progress from the City Kickboxing standout since their first clash.
Vettori told SunSport: “He’s got sharper in some things. But he didn’t add new tools or anything.
“He’s just got sharper, yeah. He’s been training, but that’s about it.”
Kings MMA’s Vettori believes he’s come on leaps and bounds since their fight, adding: “I’m a whole different animal.
“I really believe I’ve improved way, way more than what he’s improved.”
Victory over Adesanya – who is returning to middleweight following an unsuccessful bid to claim the light-heavyweight strap – will see Vettori become the first Italian to win UFC gold.
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4Vettori believes The Last Stylebender hasn’t added any ‘new tools’ to his ArsenalCredit: GETTYThe Mezzacorona mauler is all too aware of the potential accolade and is relishing the opportunity to further grow the sport of MMA in his homeland.
He said: “It’s awesome because it’s not just another sport. I’m able to represent the fighting spirit of an Italian and of Italy.
“So I just want to show these guys and I want to show every Italian and I want to show to Italy that we’re warriors to the fullest and that we’re going to do it regardless of all the obstacles.
“So it’s an honour and I can’t wait.”
Just being on the cusp of becoming Italy’s first UFC titleholder has seen Vettori receive recognition from a number of celebs.
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He said: “Italy actually came together.
“More than actually the mainstream media, a lot of famous personalities from Italy.
“They came together to wish me good luck and strength and are showing me their support. They’re making sure I feel their support.”
Vettori has been overwhelmed by the support he’s received so far but admits it’ll be for nothing if he doesn’t dethrone The Last Stylebender.
The former Venator star said: “It’s awesome, but I’ve gotta get the job done.
“If I don’t get the job done, it means nothing.
“I’m really focused – focused on what’s next. And after I make weight, I’m going to focus on getting that belt at any cost.”
BT Sport 1 will show UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2 exclusively live on Saturday 12th June with coverage of the main card featuring Leon Edwards v Nate Diaz from 3am. For more info go to bt.com/sport/ufc
UFC 263 – Adesanya vs Vettori – Live stream FREE, UK start time, TV channel, fight card as Nate Diaz makes return