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mixed-martial-arts | Tuesday, August 30, 2022 1:00 AM (Revised at: Monday, August 29, 2022 4:14 PM)

UFC Fight Night Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori Best Bet: Another One for Bobby Knuckles

UFC Fight Night Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori Best Bet: Another One for Bobby Knuckles
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Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori Best Bet: Saturday, September 3rd

The co-main event of UFC Fight Night in France will feature two of the top contenders in the Middleweight division – Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori. Another title elimination bout, this fight will determine who the champion Israel Adesanya faces will take on next. Which one of these fighters will get a chance at a trilogy?

In this article:

Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori Preview

Saturday, September 3rd

Before I start the analysis, we have to agree that ‘Bobby Knuckles’ is a much cooler nickname than ‘The Reaper’, and I refuse to elaborate. Anyway, Robert Whittaker is an exceptional fighter and I expect him to win by decision this weekend – that’s it.

But if you insist, here’s why.

Whittaker has been a powerhouse in the Middleweight division for years now, and as the former champion, he is favoured by most to win. With a record of 26 wins and 5 losses, Bobby has quite the resume under his belt. With notable victories over Yoel Romero (20, Kelvin Gastelum, Jared Cannonier and Darren Till, he has taken down some of the biggest names in the division. His only losses in the last 8 years have come at the hands of the reigning champion – Israel Adesanya.

In terms of skillset, Whittaker is up there with the best of them, being an elite striker who can also mix in his grappling when necessary. Whittaker has a nice arsenal of kickboxing combinations, landing 4.45 significant strikes per minute whilst absorbing just 3.32. He is also very difficult to take down, with a takedown defence of 83% and with a black belt in BJJ, he is capable of working off his back. He has a 185-centimetre reach and his movement in the octagon makes him a difficult target to hit. I expect this to be his biggest weapon this Saturday.

But Marvin Vettori is a top-3 Middleweight for a reason, and at 28 years of age, he still has a lot of fighting ahead of him. He has made a name for himself in the UFC in the last few years by defeating Paulo Costa, Kevin Holland and Jack Hermansson. Vettori, or ‘The Italian Dream’ also earned himself a title shot last year against Israel Adesanya, but was unable to get the job done, and lost by unanimous decision.

As good as Vettori is, it’s too early for him to be fighting for the title again. His striking leaves a lot to be desired. His boxing, although improved, is nowhere near elite level, and he doesn’t throw kicks often. His grappling has been a useful weapon against the likes of Kevin Holland, but we’ve seen that it doesn’t match up well against the elites. He got 4 takedowns against Adesanya, but he wasn’t to keep his opponent on the ground and inflict any damage.

Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori Best Bet

The bookmakers have had their say and it’s not a surprise – Bobby Knuckles is the clear favourite at 1.40 odds (bet3650. Meanwhile, they give the Italian Dream 3.00.
Loyal readers already know that I hate a backing the favourite, and there is very little value in picking Whittaker this Saturday, but I just don’t see Vettori coming out on top. Neither his striking nor grappling are good enough to get the win against Whittaker, and I don’t expect a very close fight.

Whittaker is an elite striker with exceptional takedown defence. I expect him to use his kicks and boxing combinations to keep Vettori at range, and eventually get the win. I don’t see a KO/TKO finish, seeing as how durable Vettori is, and Whittaker hasn’t TKOed anyone since 2017. A unanimous decision win is the most likely outcome, and I have no problem backing it at 2.00 odds.

  • Selection: Whittaker to Win by Decision or Technical Decision
  • Best Odds: 2.00 (Unibet)
  • Stakes: 3/10

Odds as of 03:30 pm August 29th, 2022. Odds may now differ.

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