City Kickboxing coach Eugene Bareman has added further fuel to the fire by claiming Marvin Vettori should be grateful that Israel Adesanya has given him a title shot ahead of their rematch next Saturday.
UFC middleweight champion Adesanya, coming off a disappointing loss, will fight Vettori, who prevailed in impressive fashion against Kevin Holland, in the main event of UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona on June 12.
The first fight between the top-ranked middleweights ended in a split decision in favour of the New Zealander in 2018, with Adesanya expressing dissatisfaction with his performance in the aftermath of the fight.
And now Adesanya's coach claims Vettori has a lot to thank him for as they prepare to do battle at the Gila River Arena in Glendale next weekend.
"This fight’s happening because of Israel, not because of Marvin and Marvin getting himself to a certain position," Bareman said to Submission Radio. "His last fight, I know that the people in charge, the people that push the buttons in the UFC were not happy with his last fight.
"And that’s how the way the UFC is. They don’t want to see someone just lie around and hug someone. They want to advance people that excite them and excite the crowd, and Marvin didn’t do that.
"Nevertheless, another person, just like Romero, just because of the good grace of Israel, gets the pink panty night.”
"Look, there’s two panty nights in the UFC. One is red, and that’s Conor’s. And the other panty night is pink, and that’s Israel’s.
"And there’s two big paydays in this organization, and it’s one of those two guys. Red panty night and pink panty night."
Fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand, Adesanya (20-0-1) came up short against Jan Blachowicz in his bid to become the fifth double champion in UFC history.
Blachowicz, 38, won a unanimous decision by using his wrestling to his advantage, something which Bareman believes Vettori will undoubtedly be looking to exploit.
"Yeah, I mean, we’re prepared for that," he added. "I mean, you’ve got to understand that Marvin has taken Israel down before, and Israel clearly won that fight where Marvin took him down.
"Will Marvin be able to do the things that Jan did because we haven’t addressed them? Ask yourself that question.
"Is Marvin as good as Jan, the light heavyweight champion of the world? Ask yourself that question.
"It’s an interesting game of thought, because he’s from a very good team and a very good coach and some very good coaching staff and training partners.
And we enjoy a good battle with those guys. So we’re prepared, and we’re looking forward to it."News Now - Sport News