Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori ramp up war of words in final press conference before UFC 263

Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori ramp up war of words in heated final press conference before UFC 263 as middleweight champion vows to KO rival in two rounds while Italian insists he is fan-favourite’s ‘f***ing nightmare’

Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori clashed for before their fight at UFC 263The middleweight rivals meet at UFC 263 as Adesanya defends his crown The 31-year-old suffered his first professional defeat last time out on Fight Island Vettori is confident he can beat Adesanya and said he is his ‘f***ing nightmare’ 

Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori ramped up their war of words ahead of their grudge rematch in Phoenix, with the UFC middleweight champion vowing to finish his Italian challenger in the second round. 

Adesanya, 31, makes his return to the 185-pound division after falling short in his bid to be crowned double champion following his loss to Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight earlier this year.

The Last Stylebender’s defeat was the first of his professional career, and Adesanya enters his UFC 263 contest with concerns that his aura of invincibility has now faded.

Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori came face-to-face ahead of their huge clash at UFC 263

The Nigerian-born New Zealander will take confidence that he has already beat Vettori in a split decision victory three years ago, but the Italian is convinced that the fight should have been awarded in his favour.

There has been no love lost between the pair in the build up to their clash in Phoenix, and the middleweight rivals came face-to-face on Thursday in the final press conference before their title fight.

‘I am a man – I step up even if I lost,’ Adesanya insisted via MMA Fighting. ‘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 responded: ‘He’s telling himself a story to convince himself of bull****, because his whole character is bull**** and he just believes in his own bull****. That’s what it is. It’s fake to the fullest.’ 

Vettori insists he is Adesanya's 'f***ing nightmare' as he looks to win UFC gold for Italy

Vettori insists he is Adesanya’s ‘f***ing nightmare’ as he looks to win UFC gold for Italy

The Italian is seeking to avenge his 2018 defeat to Adesanya, losing by split decision

The Italian is seeking to avenge his 2018 defeat to Adesanya, losing by split decision

‘Well, I’ll tell you this thing: This weekend you won’t need the judges,’ Adesanya replied. ‘We got (dissenting judge) Chris Lee out of there, but this weekend you won’t need the judges.’

‘I can tell you the same,’ Vettori responded.

‘Oh no, I will show the same,’ Adesanya hit back. ‘Trust me, do your thing. What are you going to do, try and sniff my jock? You’re going to try to sniff my jock for five rounds, but in the second round you’re going to hit the floor. 

‘You’re going to be sniffing the floor with that plastered ass nose on the left side of your face.’

Vettori has enjoyed a run of five wins since his setback to Adesanya, culminating in a recent victory over Kevin Holland. However, the middleweight champion was unimpressed with the calibre of fighters that his rival has defeated.

However, Adesanya's aura of invincibility has slipped as he has since suffered his first defeat

However, Adesanya’s aura of invincibility has slipped as he has since suffered his first defeat

‘Honestly speaking, since we last fought, you can look at the stack of people he’s fought and the stack of people I’ve fought — there’s a vast difference,’ Adesanya said. 

‘Who have you beaten?’ Adesanya added. ‘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 showed up every single f***ing time,’ Vettori responded. ‘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.’

The champion (left) has vowed to finish the title hopeful inside two rounds in Phoenix

The champion (left) has vowed to finish the title hopeful inside two rounds in Phoenix

‘It’s your fault because you don’t even run your own career. I run your career,’ Adesanya said. ‘I am the narrative in your career. I run your f****ing s***, b****.’

‘You tried to ignore me, b****! You tried to ignore me — here I am. I’m your f***ing nightmare,’ Vettori fired back.

Adesanya and Vettori headline an exciting card including the flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, as well as Leon Edwards v Nate Diaz.