After much speculation, it’s finally been confirmed that Robert Whittaker’s rescheduled showdown against Marvin Vettori will take place at UFC Paris on September 3. The event will serve as the promotion’s first appearance in France since mixed martial arts was made legal in the country, and it certainly seems as if they’re trying to stack the deck in a big way.
Ciryl Gane vs Tai Tuivasa is likely to be the main event of the evening but Whittaker vs Vettori is going to be right behind it, especially when you consider the potential title implications that the match-up has behind it.
If ‘Bobby Knuckles’ can edge past the Italian sensation, he’s told Fox Sports Australia that a third meeting with Adesanya could be on the cards – especially given the precedent set by Alexander Volkanovski’s feud with Max Holloway.
“Just recently it’s finally got to a point where I’m no longer feeling pain in sessions, and that just doubles down on the confirmation that I made the right choice pushing the fight back,” Whittaker said.
“I am also lucky that I was able to push the fight back, the same fight, because I’m only just getting into the full swing of training now and the [originally planned] fight is in two weeks.
“He [Vettori] was just having a whinge, but if there’s anybody who understands loving a good whinge, it’s me,” he laughed.
“I definitely think a trilogy is possible primarily because of the Holloway-Volkanovski trilogy fight going ahead,” Whittaker said.
“Especially considering how close my fight was with Izzy last time, I definitely think that is a very real possibility.”
One last shot
Back at UFC 243 in October 2019, Israel Adesanya tore through Robert Whittaker with a stylish second round TKO triumph.
Then, just over two years later, they met in a rematch in Houston – with Adesanya once again getting the better of his rival.
It was a decision win that won the day for ‘The Last Stylebender’ and given how much Whittaker improved between the two fights, it’s not unreasonable to think he could beat him on his best night.