UFC Paris Odds, Pick & Prediction for Robert Whittaker vs. Marvin Vettori: Ignore Moneyline, Bet This Prop (Saturday, September 3)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Robert Whittaker
- Saturday's UFC Paris co-main event features two middleweight contenders.
- Former champ Robert Whittaker is a sizable favorite over ultra-durable Marvin Vettori.
- Manpreet Jhass breaks down his favorite bet for the ESPN+ fight.
Robert Whittaker vs. Marvin Vettori Odds
|Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings.|
The UFC finally makes its debut in France on Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 67, where we'll see top-ranked middleweights Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori clash.
This fight co-headlines the card, which is also titled UFC Paris. The entire 12-fight card kicks off at an early start time of noon ET (9 a.m. PT) and will stream exclusively on ESPN+.
Whittaker is coming off a very close title fight loss in February, when he tried to re-capture the middleweight title off of the man who took it from him.
Vettori, meanwhile, is nearly a year removed from his most recent UFC appearance. That night he battled against Paulo Costa for 25 minutes and came out victorious.
Both men are 0-2 against the current middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya. Which one will build his case to eventually get a third crack? Read on as we break down the matchup and look for the best betting angles.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||14:23||16:34|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||12/20/1990||9/20/1993|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.45||4.35|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.32||3.48|
|Take Down Avg||0.81||2.04|
Many counted out Whittaker when he was scheduled to rematch Adesanya for the title. In the first fight, when Whittaker was the champion, he closed as a +110 underdog. In the rematch Whittaker closed as a +245 underdog.
Unfortunately, the champ retained in a closely contested battle, and Whittaker now has to make another case to get a third shot.
Whittaker has a sneaky striking style that relies on speed and footwork. He darts in and out, where he can land big shots while evading the counters of his opponents. It's been more than five years since he's won via knockout, but don't let that fool you in terms of the big power he carries in his strikes.
Whittaker's wrestling game is underrated, but he has it in his back pocket if he needs it. The 31-year-old landed a spot on the Australian National Wrestling Team back in 2018 but chose to skip out on it in hopes of getting a UFC title shot, which he did.
This weekend's opponent, Vettori, is seen as one of the better wrestlers in the division and will likely look to test it.
In Vettori's past five fights, he's landed 18 takedowns. He uses his strength and size to bully his opponents. In a relatively thin middleweight division, in which there aren't many high-level wrestlers, Vettori has managed to carve out a spot for himself.
When he doesn't choose to wrestle, though, he can put out a high volume and beat you on numbers with his strikes. He may be slow at times and plod forward, but that style has worked wonders for him.
Vettori's last shot at the title came in June 2021, when Adesanya swept him on the cards. Not many are clamoring to see a third installment of that fight, so it will be interesting to see how Vettori chooses to approach his next fights from a promotional angle, but also an in-cage entertainment standpoint.
Whittaker vs. Vettori Pick
All week I've been seeing love for the Vettori side because of the betting line. As of this article being posted, he sits at +190, which implies he wins this fight 34% of the time. I can see this number being brought up to 40% to be fair.
Where the rubber meets the road for me is that Whittaker is better than Vettori at every aspect of MMA. Whittaker has speed and footwork on his side, as well as the technical wrestling advantage.
Whittaker is still only 31 and has plenty left to give in the sport, so it's not like he is falling off by any means. He had one of the closest fights the middleweight champion has experienced to this point just in his last performance.
Vettori's slow and plodding style won't do him any favors here, especially in the larger cage. The only threat I believe he poses is if he can stifle Whittaker against the cage with his strength, but even then I'm not sure if he can get off the necessary damage required to catch the judges' eyes.
I expect Whittaker to edge out Vettori in each round with more effective damage and control. However, in 25 professional fights, Vettori has never been finished due to his durability and conditioning. This is why I'll be looking to target a specific prop rather than take the Whittaker moneyline.
Although he may not look 70% implied, I'll be taking Whittaker via decision, which sits around -115, to get a better bang for my buck. I'd bet this up to -150.
The Pick: Robert Whittaker Wins via Decision (-115 at DraftKings)