Following an impressive UFC Vegas 16 victory over Jack Hermansson last week, Marvin Vettori has made a quantum leap in the middleweight division rankings. Ranked #5 at the 185-lb weight class, Vettori took advantage of his new position and spoke out about the rankings in his division. When he heard about fellow contender Darren Till was ranked just above him at #4, he took to Twitter and let his presence be felt.
He also spoke with MMAMania.com and continued his verbal onslaught of the fighter’s positioning.
“Now the rankings just came out,” Vettori said. “Darren Till being No. 4, it’s a joke. Really, it’s a joke. But I think that would be a great scrap if we fight. After I beat somebody like Darren Till, I’ll be the only guy with two wins in the top five and I don’t know what will happen with Whittaker, but after that, I feel I will deserve a title shot. To be honest, I’m willing to fight anybody.”
Till’s record at middleweight is 1-1 since jumping from welterweight and had consistently difficult challenges in his weight cutting effort. Members of the media who participated in the voting process were a little harsh on his efforts in his new home at middleweight. Till (18-3-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC) has ten knockouts and his career and three in the Octagon. He holds key victories over Stephen Thompson and Donald Cerrone at 170-lb and Kelvin Gastelum at 185. For Vettori to credit a fighter that he may fight to earn a rematch against his past opponent in UFC Middleweight Champion, Israel Adesanya, demonstrated his mindfulness of the talent pool in the UFC.
Vettori’s road to becoming the middleweight champion may be a little shorter than expected due to his meteoric rise. As long as he knows what’s ahead of him to earn that rematch with “The Last Stylebender”, that puts him in the driver’s seat. Vettori suffered a split decision setback in April 2018. The loss still lingers but has been flawless in his last four bouts since then. He also mentioned to MMAFighting.com, constantly reminding the champion that he’s not going anywhere.
“To kind of show him I’m right back in his face. I’m right here, motherf*cker. Just look in my eyes,” Vettori said. “I’m going to be your worst f*cking nightmare until the day you f*cking retire. That’s what it is. I’m sure he’s feeling it. He didn’t say nothing but he’s feeling the pressure. There’s nobody that’s coming out with such an overwhelming force in this division. With such hunger and will to become the champion. There’s nobody like this. He’s definitely feeling it. If I had to defend the belt against me, I would not feel calm, relaxed. I’d be feeling pretty stressed. I feel like he’s feeling that way, too.”
As “The Italian Dream” prepares for his next fight, he has one goal like every other fighter, to become a UFC champion. The only way to avenge his loss is by showcasing dominance and baring his heart and soul. We’ll see what more the 27-year old has to offer. With youth on his side, there’s definitely more.