The UFC is closing in on a big time matchup in the middleweight division. Ariel Helwani reported earlier this afternoon that the deal was almost done to have Robert Whittaker (23-6) return in June to take on “The Italian Dream” Marvin Vettori (18-4-1).
Per Helwani, the deal is almost done, but not signed just yet. The fight will take place at UFC 275 on June 11th. This confirms what Whittaker was hinting at yesterday during his appearance on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. Whittaker was hinting that he’d be returning soon and mentioned Vettori as an opponent that made sense.
For Vettori, he will be looking to pick up his second straight UFC win. The last time we saw him was back in October when he took on Paulo Costa. It was a fight that took so many turns due to what happened the week of the fight.
Costa came in overweight and Vettori agreed to fight him at light heavyweight. The Italian Dream would go on to defeat Costa by decision. Going back to 2018, there’s only one man in the UFC who has been able to defeat Vettori and it’s Israel Adesanya who has done it twice.
Something he shares in common with his next opponent.
UFC 275 Middleweight Battle
With UFC 275 taking place in Singapore, it led to Robert Whittaker coming back sooner than he normally does. It’s a significantly shorter flight for Whittaker and less of an adjustment in terms of location.
Whittaker just rematched with Israel Adesanya at UFC 271 for the middleweight title. The fight was pretty close, but the judges gave the fight to Adesanya. It was Whittaker’s second loss to the middleweight champion.
Since moving up to 185 pounds, only Adesanya has been able to defeat Whittaker and he’s done it twice. This puts Whittaker in a very unique spot because it’s going to be tough for him to get a third crack at the UFC champion.
However, for him to do it, he’s got to get right back after defeating top contenders. He said he wanted a fight with Marvin Vettori and that’s what he’s getting. It should be a tremendous contest in June.