Israel Adesanya took a hilarious approach to breaking down the UFC Vegas 41 main event between his two most recent title challengers.
Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori will compete in the middleweight headliner of this Saturday’s event at the UFC APEX, and since he recently defeated both men, he felt like he was in the best position to give his thoughts on the matchup — although he took his opportunity to take as many shots as he could throughout the 11-minute video, including both fighters having issues with USADA in the past.
“They’ve both been popped for sh*t, that’s right, they’re both juicy boys,” Adesanya said. “They’ve both been popped, we need that to be known. These people forget so I need to remind people that, yeah, they’re both juicy boys.”
In regards to Vettori, who he has now defeated twice in his career, Adesanya admits that Vettori’s striking defense and head movement have improved between their first meeting in April 2018 and June’s UFC 263 event — a fight “The Last Stylebender” won by sweeping the scorecards, but feels Vettori’s ability to take punishment will be his best path to victory.
“Vettori’s biggest weapon is his chin — that block head, that f*cking LEGO block head,” Adesanya explained. “That’s his biggest weapon in this fight because he can take Costa to deep water by taking punishment, some ‘rope-a-dope sh*t’ without the rope-a-dope, just walking forward and taking punishment. But his body, everybody’s body is suspect. I don’t think anybody’s body can withstand the kind of punishment their head can if you hit them in the right spot. Same with the head, but Vettori’s just got a block head.
“He can take a lot of punishment, I’ll give him that. I would say his best method of victory is just taking Costa to deep water by grappling him, stalling, and just making making him work, but Vettori has to be willing to try and actually do something, rather than just stall.”
Adesanya took on Costa in a grudge match at UFC 253 in September 2020, a fight that the middleweight champ dominated from start to finish until he viciously put Costa away in the second round. Adesanya favors Costa’s striking in the matchup.
“[He’s a] good striker,” Adesanya stated. “Costa’s path to victory in this fight? Get him out early. Do what you did to get to the dance, that got you this far, because you’re not fighting me, you’re fighting Vettori and he’s got sh*t footwork — even worse than you.
“I feel like Costa can just do what he does: just bull rush him, bulldoze him, but be careful of the takedowns because Vettori’s gonna try that, time that, and take him down.”
All in all, Adesanya doesn’t care who wins, but he wants to see an exciting fight between past opponents.
“I just want to see my children so well,” Adesanya said. “I really wish the best for my kids and my kid’s kid, but it ain’t me, though.”