Sport

‘I’m your f*cking nightmare’: Adesanya and Vettori clash in firework-filled UFC 263 press conference

An appetizer for Saturday's UFC 263 was served up at the pre-fight press conference in Arizona on Friday as rivals Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori clashed, while the returning Nate Diaz appeared to light up a joint on stage.

Middleweight kingpin Adesanya returns to the 185lbs fold after an unsuccessful bid to become the UFC's latest two-division champion fell short earlier this year agaist Jan Blachowicz, and will be faced with a bout of deja vu when he takes on Italy's Vettori this weekend in a rematch of a fight 'The Last Stylebender' won by split decision more than three years ago.

The simmering bad blood which has existed since then reached boiled point on the podium in Arizona in an explosive and often madcap presser, as Vettori swore to gain revenge against his rival - as Adesanya pointed out that he took his loss to light heavyweight champ Blachowicz in his stride, while Vettori, he said, hasn't quite done the same since their first fight in April 2018.

Marvin Vettori: "You tried to ignore me, b*tch! You tried to ignore me. I’m your f*cking nightmare."

Israel Adesanya: "You know what that’s called? That’s called roid rage."

Watch full video: https://t.co/jOAF3332D6 pic.twitter.com/4wKtpHHmWq

— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 11, 2021

"I am a man – I step up even if I lost," Adesanya said. "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 long maintained he was the rightful victor in theor original meeting, shot back: "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 is. It’s fake 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 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 boasted, which prompted another interruption from Vettori.

"You lost against (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 beaten?” 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 showed up every single f*cking time,” Vettori shot back. "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 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*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.

Nate Diaz sparking up a joint during the UFC 263 press conference. Legend (via @_EmmanuelMorgan) pic.twitter.com/UWOwiWx2cN

— BroBible (@BroBible) June 11, 2021

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,” said Diaz.

Running back a flyweight CLASSIC!

🏆@Daico_Deiveson vs 🇲🇽@theassassinbaby

Saturday at #UFC263: https://t.co/05E97eYz38 pic.twitter.com/rtV7rDFax1

— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) June 11, 2021

The co-main event, meanwhile, between flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno in a rematch of one of 2020's most action-packed fights also received 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 men were immediately separated by security staff - and came less than a month after Jeremy Stephens was chewed out by UFC officials after he pushed rival Drakkar Klose at their weigh-in, causing an injury which forced Klose out of the fight. 

Thankfully, there doesn't appear to have been a repeat of that freak injury this time around - leaving fight fans to salivate at the prospect of another potential Fight of the Year contender on one of the UFC's most stacked cards of 2021. 


Scroll to Top