Following a tough decision loss to Israel Adesanya for the middleweight belt, Robert Whittaker (23-6) faces another stiff challenge against Marvin Vettori (18-5) in a physical clash between two of the UFC’s best 185-pounders.
Whittaker (No. 1) and Vettori (No. 2) square off September 3 on the main card of UFC Paris, where the main event features a heavyweight matchup between Ciryl Gane and Tai Tuivasa.
“Bobby Knuckles,” who has defeated everyone not named Adesanya since 2014, is currently the -230 favorite.
You can check out UFC odds among other betting markets at Bodog:
Robert Whittaker vs Marvin Vettori Betting Odds
Bodog has you covered for the Whittaker vs Vettori matchup, where the former champ sits as a -230 favorite, with “The Italian Dream” sliding in as a +185 underdog.
Anyone who bets on the Australian must wager $230 to generate potential winnings of $100, while a successful $100 bet on Vettori pays out $185.
Odds as of July 11 at Bodog
A closer look at those odds using our sports betting calculator tells us Whittaker enters the three-round fight with a 69.7 percent implied win probability, compared to Vettori’s 35.1 percent implied chance of pulling off the upset.
This battle between the top two middleweight contenders offers an excellent opportunity for first-time UFC bettors to learn the ropes. Our How to Bet on UFC guide provides tips on round betting, fight outcomes and much more.
Whittaker vs Vettori Odds Analysis: Another Edge For Bobby Knuckles
Whittaker is so seasoned against the division’s top competition, it’s not even funny. Excluding his bouts against “The Last Stylebender,” the 31-year-old has been the favorite in his last five fights against Kelvin Gastelum (-275), Jared Cannonier (-125), Darren Till (-165) and Yoel Romero (-245 and -130).
The No. 1 contender looked like the most complete version of himself, pushing the pace against the champ during some very close middle rounds, before winning the fourth and fifth rounds on two of the judges’ scorecards. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough, though it’s easy to see why Whittaker now opens as the favorite against Vettori.
Don’t Sleep On Marvin
The 28-year-old has methodically marched his way up the middleweight rankings over the last few years. Similar to Whittaker, Vettori’s only two losses since 2017 have come against the current middleweight champion.
The Italian was a -200 favorite in his last fight against Paulo Costa, though that five-round main event occurred at 205 pounds after the Brazilian couldn’t make weight. Still, Vettori powered through that grueling fight, absorbing some punishing kicks but never going down, demonstrating why he’s so dangerous for any opponent who joins him in the cage.
Whittaker vs Vettori Betting Preview: Rob’s Rhythm vs Marvin’s Direction
After fighting Costa at a heavier weight and eating big shots last time around, Vettori proved he’s as strong as it gets at 185 pounds. He’s sturdy, and he pushes the pace, even if that means pressuring more sophisticated strikers, as he did against Adesanya at UFC 263.
Whittaker, on the other hand, bounces as he reads his opponent or prepares to throw strikes. The 31-year-old has excellent rhythm, turning his jab into a flurry of quick, sharp strikes, like his patented jab-high kick combo that scrambled Jared Cannonier at UFC 254.
Vettori is the stockier fighter, boasting a reputation for bullying opponents into massive amounts of control time (50:14 total, fourth among active middleweights). That said, Whittaker fights much looser, often outwitting stronger opponents with tact instead of physicality.
Can Vettori Outsmart Whittaker?
Vettori does a good job of shelling up against big shots, as his 63.9 percent significant strike defense ranks second among active UFC middleweights. But he’s up against a cerebral fighter in Whittaker, which puts him at a disadvantage.
There are vulnerabilities in the Italian’s approach, particularly when he’s challenged by quicker fighters. At UFC 263, Adesanya exposed Vettori by attacking him with low kicks or finishing off combos with rangy high kicks and hooks. There’s a strong chance Whittaker solves Vettori, too.
Rob’s ability to adjust mid-fight sets him apart. At UFC 254, Cannonier battered Whittaker’s lead leg, but the Aussie made a change, quickly popping the jab in and out, staying out of range of the powerful strikes of “The Killa Gorilla.” Unlike Adesanya, Whittaker can also level change – especially when injured – which makes him the most versatile fighter Vettori will have faced in his UFC career.
Whittaker vs Vettori Pick
Marvin is good, but Rob is better. He’s the smarter, more athletic fighter, with a more diverse striking arsenal and a strong resume of fighters from which he’s learned how to overcome challenges. Vettori is a strong test for “The Reaper,” but doesn’t bring any stylistic elements that overmatch the No. 1 contender.
Whittaker has secured eight Fight of the Night performance bonuses (second in middleweight history) and is in line to do the same with another potential master class come September.
Pick: Whittaker (-230) via decision
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Odds Shark Staff Sat, Aug 13, 4:03am