While middleweight Marvin Vettori won one of his bouts in 2017, while picking up a majority draw in the other, overall he feels like he had a pretty solid year.
First against Vitor Miranda at UFC Fight Night 112 last June, Vettori was able to pull off a solid unanimous decision win. And while he got saddled with a majority decision draw against Omari Akhmedov this past December at UFC 219, he feels the fight was a big learning experience.
“I feel like obviously with Vitor, I performed good,” Vettori told MMAWeekly.com. “I could perform for sure better. I learned a lot from that fight. He was a very tough opponent. He had like a concrete head. He could take a lot of punches and still come forward. But I managed to do good and win the fight.
“With Omari, I feel like the fight started the right way, but when I didn’t see that he switched tactics in a way. He started swinging for the fences, and I just stood there and let him go whatever. I could have beaten him up more easily with less effort.”
Vettori does feel like he proved his durability against Akhmedov, and how that will present problems for anyone who faces him going forward.
“I proved to everybody that I have a concrete chin and I don’t back down,” said Vettori. “No matter what when you fight with me it’s going to be a war, and you’re not going to be able to put me away no matter what.”
On Saturday in Glendale, Ariz., Vettori (12-3-1) will have his first fight of 2018 when he takes on Israel Adesanya (13-0) in a UFC on FOX 29 middleweight bout.
“Keep the constant pressure; keep beating him up until I break him,” Vettori said of facing Adesanya. “I don’t think he has great heart, either. I think after the first round, I’ll break his spirit. That’s what I want to do. After the first round, I will intimidate by how much fuel I have left to give him.
“I’ll beat him up everywhere. I can strike, I can take you down, and I can smash you on the floor. I can win in every position of the fight.”
For Vettori, the goal for 2018 is to build a winning streak and work his way up the rankings on his way towards title contention.
“I want to make my name in the middleweight division and from there as soon as possible break into the Top 10, and from there climbing up until I get my shot,” said Vettori. “I don’t go year by year. I go more fight by fight. The main goal is to win these fights, and then after break into the Top 10.”