Israel Adesanya retained his UFC middleweight championship  in his rematch with Marvin Vettori, sweeping the scorecards 50-45 across the board.

While many observers think the scoring was just, Vettori was seen remonstrating about the result with rival Adesanya after his opponent’s hand was raised.

In the post-fight aftermath, Vettori stuck to his guns – perhaps conceding that he should have lost the bout, but disagreeing with the judges.

“I think I did a lot of good things,” Vettori told BT Sport after the fight. “I was having a lot of success with the boxing exchanges. Story of this fight was the leg kick, I guess.

“I went back and I talked to my coaches, I think the 50-45 was definitely not the right decision but it is what is.”

It was obvious that “The Italian Dream” looked to use his wrestling to neutralise Adesanya and score points like UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz did in March.

However, he failed to keep the Kiwi down on the ground long enough to properly implement his gameplan on his four takedowns and praised Adesanya’s grappling defence.

“He’s really slippery,” Vettori commented. “He has his own game, his own way of staying on the ground. He does what he does and he’s game in his own way. He might not be offensive or anything but defensively he’s pretty good.

“With that being said, I had all the cards to beat him but I didn’t. I said coming in I would leave no doubt and even if I would have won, I would have left doubts and at the end of the day, I didn’t do enough.”

Now his story with “The Last Stylebender” appears to be on pause after enduring two decision defeats, the Italian has his eyes on another opponent next – Paulo Costa.

“To be honest, I’d like to really destroy this drunk guy that can’t even stay off drinking,” Vettori said, referencing Costa. “It’s ‘Borrachinha’. I’d definitely like to smack this guy.

“I am as game as they come. You can count on me, when there’s a fight and there’s a date, I’ll show up. We’ll see.”