Marvin Vettori can hardly hide his frustration when he thinks about the events that led to the cancellation of UFC on ESPN+ 29. “The Italian Dream” was itching to step into the cage and was absolutely devastated when that opportunity was taken away from him.
“I was like, ‘Fly me out, fly me out, whatever,’” Vettori told MMA Junkie. “But I’m still hoping I’m fighting soon, man.
“(Expletive), man, this thing is really delaying my mission to get to the top. That pisses me off.”
Vettori was scheduled to face Darren Stewart this past weekend at UFC on ESPN+ 29 in London, a card that was ultimately scrapped due to the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak. Stewart got rebooked at Cage Warriors 113 in a rarely seen talent-sharing deal between the two promotions. However, Vettori, an Italian national currently based in California, didn’t have that luxury due to travel bans being implemented that would have made his return to the U.S. difficult, if not impossible.
“They woke me up like 3:30 a.m. in the morning,” Vettori recalled. “They were like, ‘Fight is off, we have to go back,’ and everybody was freaking out.”
Now Vettori faces challenges of a different type. With California in a government ordered lockdown, he’s not exactly sure how he’s going to train. But he insists “how” is the right question, not “if.”
“Even on my rest days, I’m training twice a day,” Vettori said. “I love training. Staying ready for me is not a big issue. I’m a straight up savage. The more I do this, the more I just embrace it all the way, and I’m just going to stay ready. But I don’t know what’s going on. I’m going to be ready for everything. I’m going to make sure. I’m going to be ready. It’s frustrating. The whole thing is frustrating.
“I’m going to try, for sure. I don’t know if it’s legal. I’m going to try to hide and do something.”
Vettori’s Italian homeland is currently mired deep in the pandemic, serving as the global epicenter of the crisis for the time being as China reports improvements in the situation there. Fortunately, he says, his family is safe thus far and remain healthy during their own mandatory lockdown.
That knowledge leaves Vettori (14-3-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC) free to continue chasing his dream, even if it’s temporarily on hold. When UFC operations do resume, he has an idea for a booking, as well. The 26-year-old slugger would love to avenge his UFC defeats, and while he knows a bout with current champ Israel Adesanya isn’t in the cards, he thinks a second fight with Brazilian submission artist Antonio Carlos Junior (10-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) might make some sense.
“I want the rematch with all the guys I lost early in the UFC,” Vettori said. “I’d love a fight with Antonio Carlos Junior, too. Even though he’s coming from losses, he’s still higher than me in the ranking, so I would love that fight.”
Of course, right now, the UFC’s entire schedule is at the mercy of the coronavirus, so Vettori doesn’t really know what to expect next. But he says he’s going to stay on the ready so when the UFC’s ready to start back up, he’s happy to answer the phone.
“I want to fight as soon as this thing gets better and they’re going to start running events,” Vettori said. “I want to fight. I will stay ready.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/03/marvin-vettori-stay-ready-through-pandemic-antonio-carlos-junior-rematch/