The two Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight prospects fought on the April 14 card headlined by lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier. Although two judges gave the match to Adesanya, “The Italian Dream” is certain that the third is the only one who saw it right. All of Vettori’s losses in the UFC -- and in his entire career, in fact -- have come by decision in close fights, so he understands very well why a fighter should never leave it in the hands of the judges.
“I had a good performance. I think I won the match,” Vettori told Sherdog.com. “I re-watched the first round at least ten times, and that round was mine. He could do nothing. I canceled him. He only threw some jabs and inside low kicks, but he missed a lot. He never accepted the war, given his fight style. It seems to me that the stats aren’t so accurate. He barely touched me. The second round went more his way, but in the third round I brought him down and I controlled the match until the finish.”
The 24 year-old Kings MMA representative, who has gone 2-2-1 since joining the promotion, is not pleased by how the UFC’s commentary team called his fight. Vettori’s criticism extends not only to play-by-play announcer Jon Anik, color commentator Daniel Cormier and desk analyst Dominick Cruz, but to the production team’s visual and replay choices. In Vettori’s opinion, everyone was fooled by the hype surrounding Adesanya, who is seen as a can’t-miss prospect.
“The UFC commentators were absurd,” Vettori said. “They started immediately exaggerating [Adesanya’s] shots, it was as if everyone took for granted that I would lose against the new UFC prodigy. I came to this fight ready to win. I was not afraid of him or his striking. You saw it, he was not able to do what he does best. I didn’t let him.
“The Fox [replay] images also made it look like I was calling for a break after taking an elbow. That’s not right: I was calling the referee’s attention because Adesanya kept on eye-poking me. You saw him put his hand on my face right before throwing that elbow. I was not complaining for the elbow, it was not even a hard shot.”
Vettori’s dissatisfaction with the judges and the broadcast team are nothing compared his feelings on Adesanya’s actions since the end of their fight. According to Vettori, “The Last Stylebender” shifted his tone after the decision was read, showing his true colors.
“I’m not bothered by his trash talking, trash talking is also part of my attitude,” Vettori said. “It bothers me that he’s two-faced. He is a dog and a hypocrite. At the end of the match, he was convinced he had lost. He told me something like ‘we'll meet again.’ He was surprised when he realized he had actually won, you can see it on video. Adesanya went from being sad over his defeat to talking crap in front of the media. He is a liar, a two-faced liar. A lot of people compare him to Jon Jones. He has nothing of Jon Jones’ fighting style, but he resembles him very much in his attitude.”