An appetizer for Saturday’s UFC 263 was served up on the pre-fight press conference in Arizona on Friday as rivals Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori clashed, whereas the returning Nate Diaz appeared to gentle up a joint on stage.
Middleweight kingpin Adesanya returns to the 185lbs fold after an unsuccessful bid to develop into the UFC’s newest two-division champion fell quick earlier this 12 months agaist Jan Blachowicz, and will likely be confronted with a bout of deja vu when he takes on Italy’s Vettori this weekend in a rematch of a combat ‘The Last Stylebender’ gained by cut up determination greater than three years in the past.
The simmering dangerous blood which has existed since then reached boiled level on the rostrum in Arizona in an explosive and usually madcap presser, as Vettori swore to realize revenge towards his rival – as Adesanya identified that he took his loss to gentle heavyweight champ Blachowicz in his stride, whereas Vettori, he stated, hasn’t fairly executed the identical since their first combat in April 2018.
“I am a man – I step up even if I lost,” Adesanya stated. “Even if I lost, I take it and I accept it and I move on – unlike him. He holds onto that loss to me like it’s the biggest win of his career.”
Vettori, who has lengthy maintained he was the rightful victor in theor authentic assembly, shot again: “He’s telling himself a story to convince himself of bullsh*t, because his whole character is bullsh*t and he just believes in his own bullsh*t.
“That’s what it’s. It’s faux to the fullest.”
Adesanya, though, said that his body of work at middleweight is unrivalled, particularly when held against that of Vettori who comes into the fight in the midst of a five-fight win streak.
“Honestly talking, since we final fought, you may take a look at the stack of individuals he’s fought and the stack of individuals I’ve fought – there’s an enormous distinction,” Adesanya boasted, which prompted another interruption from Vettori.
“You misplaced towards (Yoel) Romero,” Vettori interjected. “You lost against me. Then you lost against Blachowicz. Who did you beat? You beat Borrachinha (Paulo Costa)? And he was drunk the night before? That’s who you beat? Great, wow.
“Who have you ever overwhelmed?” Adesanya replied. “Tell me, who have you beaten? Name three top-10 opponents you’ve beaten. Name them. Exactly. You ain’t got sh*t. I can tell you who I beat. All of you know who I beat.
“Listen, I confirmed up each single f*cking time,” Vettori shot again. “Just because they can’t make it to a fight with me, that ain’t my fault, man. Whoever showed up got beaten by me.
“It’s your fault since you don’t even run your personal profession. I run your profession,” Adesanya stated. “I am the narrative in your career. I run your f*cking sh*t, b*tch.”
“You tried to ignore me, b*tch! You tried to ignore me — here I am. I’m your f*cking nightmare,” came the response from the furious Italian.
In sharp contrast to the histrionics on display between Adesanya and Vettori, the Nate Diaz’s appearance on stage was a little more reserved – possibly helped, in part at least, by the Stockton man’s decision to light up a marijuana cigarette during the event, just two days before he aims to end the five-year undefeated streak of the UK’s Leon Edwards.
“I believe just like how GSP was doing his thing back in the day, I think he’s doing the same thing and not getting no love for it,” said Diaz on Edwards. “So I’m pumped to fight a worthy opponent and that’s what I’m here for. I’m coming to win.”
UFC boss Dana White announced this week that the winner of Diaz-Edwards clash could be next up for a welterweight title fight against the winner of the mooted rematch between champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, and regardless of whether or not this weekend’s performance earns him a world title shot Diaz says he is coming to show his ‘BMF’ credentials.
“Every fight is gonna be the baddest motherf*cking fight you ever seen,” stated Diaz.
The co-main occasion, in the meantime, between flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno in a rematch of one among 2020’s most action-packed fights additionally obtained some added intrigue after a tense face-off between the pair was punctuated by a push to the chest by the champion to his Mexican challenger.
Both males had been instantly separated by safety employees – and got here lower than a month after Jeremy Stephens was chewed out by UFC officers after he pushed rival Drakkar Klose at their weigh-in, inflicting an damage which compelled Klose out of the combat.
Thankfully, there would not seem to have been a repeat of that freak damage this time round – leaving combat followers to salivate on the prospect of one other potential Fight of the Year contender on one of many UFC’s most stacked playing cards of 2021.