UFC Paris, France.
On September 3rd, 2022, UFC Paris took place and even though there were no titles on the line, there were many good fights on the card. I was particularly interested in the co-main event, the middleweight bought between Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori. Both fighters had never faced each other before. In addition, both fighters have lost twice to the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Finally, both fighters are competing to be called the second-best middleweight in the world. Not often do you hear professional athletes competing to be called the second best in the world; however, it doesn’t seem likely any fighter will be taking the belt from Israel Adesanya any time soon.
The first encounter was initially scheduled for June 11, 2022, at UFC 275. However, that fight would be cancelled due to Robert Whittaker sustaining an injury during training camp. Marvin Vettori lives to fight and hates cancellations. As seen at the weigh-in, showing his displeasure with Whittaker by refusing to shake his hand and aggressively getting in his face.
The fight would be a standing affair, with both fighters trading blows for three rounds, only going to the ground once due to a successful takedown by Whittaker. Vettori would defend, mostly looking for an opening to strike. Contrary to Whittaker, breaking thought Vettori’s defence and landing 74 of 166 strikes to Vettori’s 33 of 121. In the third round, Whittaker would turn up the heat, landing a few more heavy shots on Vettori, including a number of strikes to the face that drew blood. Also, stopped a takedown attempt by Vettori.
Robert Whittaker wins the fight by unanimous decision. Whittaker remains the leading contender for the belt though it’s hard to imagine him facing off against champ Adesanya in the near future. Due to Whittaker losing to Adesanya at UFC 271 back in February of this year. I imagine a rematch between Whittaker and Vettori will happen before Whittaker faces off against Adesanya for the third time.