This past weekend in the co-main event of UFC Paris, we saw a matchup between two of the very best middleweights in the world. Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (24-6) returned to face former middleweight title challenger “The Italian Dream” Marvin Vettori (18-5-1).
Both men were in a similar spot entering Saturday. They both were two of the best in the world, but they were both 0-2 against the current middleweight champion. With that, their status was a little in limbo considering it will take a lot to get them another title shot.
Nevertheless, both men needed a win. The first round was very competitive with both men having success. In fact, there were a lot of split scores for the first round. However, the last two rounds were not very competitive with one man separating himself from the other.
That man was Robert Whittaker. The speed of the former champion was really difficult for Marvin Vettori to deal with Vettori was just getting beat to the punch over the final couple of rounds and ultimately lost a decision at UFC Paris.
What’s next after UFC Paris?
This was another big win for Robert Whittaker who once again showed he’s the 1B to Israel Adesanya’s 1A. If Stylebender wasn’t in the UFC, Robert Whittaker would be the middleweight champion. The proof is the fact that the man is unbeaten at 185 outside of the two Adesanya fights.
During his middleweight run, he has wins over Yoel Romero (Twice), Jared Cannonier, Darren Till, Kelvin Gastelum, Derek Brunson, and now Marvin Vettori. He’s in a tough spot right now given how good he is but also given the fact that he’s lost to Adesanya twice.
So what’s next? Well, what’s next is a front row seat for the Adesanya – Alex Pereira fight in November. I think that Pereira is a really solid next opponent for Whittaker regardless of the outcome. Obviously if Pereira wins, Adesanya will likely get a title rematch unless he’s hurt for an extended period of time.
If Adesanya has to have an extended layoff, Pereira – Whittaker would make for a great title fight. However, if Adesanya wins, I still think Pereira makes a lot of sense for Whittaker. It’s a fun fight that would be very interesting for fight fans.