Vettori thought he beat Adesanya, eyes 'drunk' Costa next
Marvin Vettori initially felt like he did enough to capture the title immediately after going five rounds with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya on Saturday.
In the end, though, Vettori suffered a unanimous decision loss in the UFC 263 main event in Glendale, Arizona, losing all five rounds on the judges' scorecards.
"Right after the fight, I thought I won. ... And (Adesanya)'s like, 'No, you didn't win,'" Vettori told BT Sport's Caroline Pearce.
Adesanya edged Vettori 96-58 in significant strikes, and although the challenger scored four takedowns, he couldn't do much with the dominant positions.
"I think I did a lot of good things. ... I was having a lot of success with the boxing exchanges," Vettori said. "The story of this fight was (Adesanya's) leg kick, I guess. ... I think the 50-45 was definitely not the right decision.
"I had all the cards to beat him, but I didn't," he continued. "I said coming in, I wouldn't leave (any) doubt, and even if I would've won (the decision), I would've left doubts. At the end of the day, I didn't do enough."
Vettori praised Adesanya's defensive skills and said he respects the 185-pound titleholder despite some bad blood between them heading into Saturday's contest.
"He's game in his own way," Vettori said. "He might not be offensive or anything, but defensively, he's pretty good."
The No. 3-ranked middleweight now has his sights set on fellow ex-title challenger Paulo Costa, who recently withdrew from an August main event against Jared Cannonier.
"To be honest, you know what? I'd like to really destroy this drunk guy that can't even stay off drinking - it's 'Borrachinha' - eventually," Vettori said.
"If he can make it to a fight, I'd definitely like to smack this guy."