Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori
September 3, 2022 4:50 pm EDT
The Line: Marvin Vettori +181 / Robert Whittaker -211
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Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori fight Saturday in UFC Fight Night 209 at the Accor Arena. Whittaker enters this fight with a 23-6 record and has won 39 percent of his fights by knockout. Vettori enters this fight with an 18-4-1 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by submission.
Whittaker has won 6 of his last 8 fights and is coming off February loss to Israel Adesanya. Whittaker is averaging 4.45 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Whittaker is averaging 0.81 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Whittaker is coming off a decision loss at UFC 271 where he landed 74 total strikes and produced 4 takedowns. It was a competitive fight, but Whittaker now looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since 2013-14. Whittaker has seen each of his last 4 fights go the distance. Whittaker is a high volume, powerful striker who has knockout power, and he’s a black belt in Hapkido and Gōjū-ryū. Whittaker is more than willing to trade blows in the octagon, and despite sometimes being hit more than you’d like, he’s only been knocked out twice in his career. Whittaker also has a wrestling background and is a brown belt in BJJ, so he’s more than comfortable on the canvas and his conditioning is some of the best in the middleweight division. This will be Whittaker’s first career fight in France.
Vettori has won 6 of his last 7 fights and is coming off an October win over Paulo Costa. He is averaging 4.35 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. Vettori is averaging 2.04 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 45 percent. He is coming off a decision win at UFC Fight Night 196 where he landed 214 total strikes and 54 percent of his significant strikes. The bout eared performance of the night honors, the second time Vettori has earned the bonus in his last 5 fights. Vettori is highly skilled on his feet where he throws violent combinations, but he’s also quite an athlete for his size and will mix in knees as well. A brown belt in BJJ, Vettori is highly effective in the clinch and has good scrambling skills that allow him to survive on the canvas. Three of Vettori’s last 4 submission victories have come via the guillotine choke. Ten of Vettori’s last 11 fights have been decisions. This will be Vettori’s first career fight in France.
While Vettori is on a nice stretch, he can be a bit of a one trick pony, and it hurts him against top tier fighters. Whittaker is simply the more balanced fighter of the two, and he likely controls where this fight goes. Whittaker and his elite level takedown defense is going to force Vettori to win this bout on his feet, and I’m not sure if he’s capable of that. It may not be the sexiest fight in the world, but I have Whittaker in a decision.
Give me Whittaker and the reasonable price.