While the Italian fighter definitely had his moments, he ultimately took too much damage on the feet in striking exchanges with Adesanya and he couldn’t really take advantage of the takedowns he landed throughout the fight.
In the end, all three judges scored the fight 50-45 for Adesanya and while Vettori concedes defeat in the fight, he’s doesn’t buy that he lost all five rounds.
“I think I did a lot of good things,” Vettori told BT Sport after the event. “I was having a lot of success with the boxing exchanges. Story of this fight was the leg kick, I guess. I went back and I talked to my coaches, I think the 50-45 was definitely not the right decision but it is what is.
“At the end of the day, I’m 27 years old. I’m going to go back to the hotel, I’m going to go and run. I’m going to go and run and do like a five-mile run. I didn’t even take a hot shower because I feel like I don’t deserve it. That’s how crazy I am. I’m going to go back and work and get ready for the next fight.”
Part of the narrative going into the fight was whether or not Vettori could potentially use a similar game plan against Adesanya as reigning UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz employed just a few months ago.
In that matchup at 205 pounds, Blachowicz used his considerable size advantage and grappling power to put Adesanya on the mat and control him there for large portions of the fight, which ultimately resulted in a unanimous decision win.
While Vettori was able to get Adesanya down to the ground, he couldn’t maintain control for very long and that eventually allowed “The Last Stylebender” to either reverse his position or slip free to get back to his feet.
“He’s really slippery,” Vettori said about Adesanya. “He has his own game, his own way of staying on the ground. He does what he does and he’s game in his own way. He might not be offensive or anything but defensively he’s pretty good.
“With that being said, I had all the cards to beat him but I didn’t. I said coming in I would leave no doubt and even if I would have won, I would have left doubts and at the end of the day, I didn’t do enough.”
Afterwards, Adesanya and Vettori exchanged a few words that momentarily looked like they were burying the hatchet after so much bad blood leading into the fight. Adesanya then pulled away and rolled his eyes, which he later explained was because despite the result, Vettori was still claiming that he actually won the fight.
According to Vettori, that’s exactly what happened in the heat of the moment but he has no problem giving Adesanya credit for a job well done.
“Right after the fight, I thought I won,” Vettori said. “I thought I won and he’s like ‘no, you didn’t win.’ He was like ‘at the end of the day, respect, we don’t like each other but respect’ and I said you know what, we share the octagon for eight rounds now, for 40 minutes basically. At the end of the day, you’ve got to give some props.”
While the outcome wasn’t what he wanted, Vettori isn’t going to sit and sulk about the result because he’s already thinking about what comes next for him so he can begin his climb back to another title shot one day.
Vettori isn’t opposed to any particular matchup the UFC could offer him, although in a perfect world he’d really like to face off with Brazilian middleweight Paulo Costa.
“To be honest, I’d like to really destroy this drunk guy that can’t even stay off drinking,” Vettori said when referencing Costa. “It’s ‘Borrachinha’ … I’d definitely like to smack this guy.
“I am as game as they come. You can count on me, when there’s a fight and there’s a date, I’ll show up. We’ll see.”