Israel Adesanya Not Happy with Split-Decision Triumph Over Marvin Vettori at UFC on Fox 29

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 14, 2018
Israel Adesanya generated a fair amount of hype with a technical knockout win over Rob Wilkinson in his Octagon debut in February, but his sophomore outing showed he is still very much a work in progress.

“The Last Stylebender” walked away with a split-decision triumph over Marvin Vettori in a featured middleweight bout at UFC on Fox 29 in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday night, but it wasn’t exactly one for the highlight reels. Adesanya got the better of his foe in striking exchanges for two rounds, although he didn’t land in great volume. However, the Nigerian kickboxer spent the majority of the final frame on his back, as Vettori landed a pair of takedowns.

Adesanya himself wasn’t especially impressed with his performance. It was the first time in 13 professional bouts that he had been forced to go the distance.

“I’m not happy, but I’ll take the win,” Adesanya said. “Like my coaches say, a win is a win but that is not enough for me. I want the finish, and I’m upset I didn’t find that shot.”

Still, the 28-year-old was perplexed by the scorecard of judge Chris Lee, who awarded the contest to Vettori by a 29-28 tally.

“I think it’s absolutely insane that a judge scored the fight for him. I don’t understand that at all,” Adesanya said. “He had the takedowns in the third round, but I felt like I was piecing him up in the first and second rounds. There’s no way you could give him more than one round. I guess I’ll have to go back and watch it for myself.”

Adesanya was given a prime position on the main card of the UFC on Fox 29 broadcast, and despite his struggles, it’s easy to see why he might get a big promotional push. While it wasn’t exactly the result he anticipated, Adesanya enjoyed himself on Saturday night.

I did have fun out there and I’m very happy to take the win but I’m not thinking about what’s next yet,” he said.

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