No question Marvin Vettori will climb the 185-pound ladder when the official rankings come out later this week, but I’m not sure “The Italian Dream” can jump from No. 13 to a middleweight title shot with his decision victory over Jack Hermansson.
That’s probably why promotion president Dana White would prefer to see Vettori prove his championship mettle by throwing hands with division bruiser and former title contender Paulo Costa at some point in first quarter 2021.
“I love that fight,” White told reporters at the UFC Vegas 16 post-fight press conference (watch it here). “We’ll see. But yeah, I love that fight.”
While initially on board with “The Eraser” match up, Vettori later had a change of heart and decided he was better off going straight to the top. And to be fair, “The Italian Dream” laid out a pretty good case for leapfrogging the current crop of contenders.
“I want to go straight to the title,” Vettori said. “I like the (Costa) fight, but I feel like the top five there’s no opposition. Cannonier just lost, Darren Till is ... I don’t even think he’s top five. Costa just lost brutally and Jack was No. 4. Whittaker wants to just enjoy Christmas with his kids. I don’t blame him, it just doesn’t really seem like he wants to fight for the title.”
Vettori lost a split decision to “The Last Stylebender” at UFC on FOX 29 and has been pining for a rematch ever since, but with super fights between Jan Blachowicz and Jon Jones on the table for Adesanya, “The Italian Dream” is likely to stay at the back of the line for the time being.