INTENSE! Dana White Has To Intervene As Things Get Ugly Between Israel Adesanya And Marvin Vettori At Face-Off

Published 06/11/2021, 8:56 AM EDT

Reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya had an intense face-off against title challenger Marvin Vettori prior to their match at UFC 263. The duo had a series of exchanges during the face-off and it escalated to such a point that president Dana White had to interfere himself.


Article continues below this ad

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 05: Israel Adesanya of Nigeria poses on the scale during the UFC 259 weigh-in at UFC APEX on March 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Both fighters have been trading shots at each other through social media and interviews. But this was the first they came under the same roof, and their antics raised the temperature of the venue.


Article continues below this ad

In a video released after the incident, it was evident they were almost close to cracking each other’s neck before White’s words calmed them down.

White shouted, ” Listen to me! Listen to me! No f*cking touching! No f*cking touching!”

Israel Adesanya fires shots at Marvin Vettori

Adesanya (20-1) has a charismatic persona. Whether he is in the ring or holding a mic, few fighters can challenge his authority. During the face-off, ‘The Last Stylebender’ ripped into Vettori for losing his cool. He also mocked ‘The Italian Dream’ for not fighting the top ten contenders.

“What you gonna do? Try me again!” he shouted at Vettori. “Look at him. You know what that’s called? That’s called ‘roid rage. That ain’t caffeine, that’s ‘roid rage, b**ch!”

Vettori, for his part, insulted Adesanya for losing against Blachowicz and also claimed he trounced him last time around.

The verbal spat got the better of Vettori’s nerve, and he almost dumped into Adesanya before the UFC officials intervened and separated the duo.


5 Things You Need to Know About Leon Edwards

10 days ago

How have both fared recently?

Adesanya is the undisputed champion of the middleweight division and has been never defeated by anyone in the division in his entire career.

After capturing the title at UFC 243 against Robert Whittaker, he successfully defended the crown on two separate occasions. His first came in a hard-fought unanimous decision win against Yoel Romero at UFC 248, followed by a KO mauling handed to the previously undefeated Paulo Costa at UFC 253.

The Nigerian’s last outing at UFC 259 ended in a losing cause against Jan Blachowicz. The latter successfully defended his light heavyweight crown and crushed Adesanya’s dream of becoming a two-division champ.

Vettori, on the other hand, has only gained strength after his loss to Adesanya in 2018, racking up 5 consecutive wins.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 13: Marvin Vettori of Italy celebrates after his submission victory over Karl Roberson in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

‘The Italian Dream’ fought Kevin Holland in April this year after winning 4 on the trot. He wrestled his opponent out en route to a unanimous decision win.


Article continues below this ad

The battle has already received intense build-up. It remains to be seen what these charismatic fighters will do to each other when all the restrictions will be lifted come this Saturday.

Who do you see prevailing in the end?


Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: 5 crazy details you missed from Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul


Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

257 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.