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“I think I showed the division that I belong to the Top 5,” Vettori said. “I believe I’m the best in the world, and I’m going to show it. I also learned about myself. You always learn, and it was good.”

Coincidentally, Holland stepped in to face Souza at UFC 256, scoring a big knockout win, and because Darren Till was forced to pull out of the fight with Vettori due to injury, the two are set to face each other in the main event on April 10, live on ABC.

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When Vettori first learned the news about Till, frustration naturally set in. Much of Vettori’s 2020 campaign was held up with an on-again, off-again matchup with Karl Roberson that finally saw its definitive end when Vettori scored a first-round submission last June. Although the circumstances around Till pulling out are understandable, Vettori’s overall frustration with losing fights is clear.

“The responsibility is still to show up and defend your spot and defend what you stand for,” he said. “If you can’t do it, then, by default, I’m taking your spot. It’s a battle. This is not just an appointment like, ‘Oh, I’ll see you at three o’clock,’ and you don’t show up. This is a battle. I’m coming to take your spot, and not just your spot, your head. You don’t show up, to me, you lose by default. I don’t know, man. It’s messed up that not normal is almost becoming normal for me where I always have these people falling through, and I’m still showing up, and I’m still doing everything right. It just shows that I’m an elite professional, and I do my job to the fullest.”


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