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UFC on ESPN 10 card: Marvin Vettori vs. Karl Roberson full fight preview

UFC Fight Night Smith v Teixeira: Weigh-Ins Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight rivals Marvin Vettori and Karl Roberson will battle this Saturday (June 13, 2020) at UFC on ESPN 10 from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I’m feeling a touch of deja vu here ...

Exactly one month back from Saturday’s event, Vettori and Roberson were schedule to duel down in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, Roberson missed weight, and further complications from his weight cut canceled the bout. The two engaged in a screaming match soon after, so perhaps this bout is more interesting the second time around thanks to some extra emotional fuel?

At any rate, both Vettori and Roberson have won their previous two bouts, and this one should prove action-packed. Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Marvin Vettori

Record: 14-4-1
Key Wins: Cezar Ferreira (UFC Fight Night 155), Andrew Sanchez (UFC Fight Night 161), Vitor Miranda (UFC Fight Night 112)
Key Losses: Israel Adesanya (UFC on FOX 29), Antonio Carlos Junior (UFC 207)
Keys to Victory: Vettori is all about volume. The Italian bruiser has a sturdy chin and solid conditioning, which allows him to push the pace and throw tons of strikes across a 15-minute bout. In addition, he’s finished eight of his past foes via tapout.

Patient pressure will prove the name of the game opposite Roberson, as these two really have styles designed to infuriate the other. It’s a battle of consistency vs. power, as well as volume vs. precision. As the man throwing punches in bunches, Vettori has to force his opponent to work and expend energy without getting blasted in the process.

As such, feints will be important. Actively feinting will help draw out Roberson’s counter cross — allowing Vettori to follow up — and lead to Roberson throwing fewer of them. I’d also like to see Vettori wrestling. Roberson has shown himself willing to compete in wrestling engagements, but that habit has also gotten him into trouble on the mat.

Scrambles on the mat definitely favor the Italian.

Karl Roberson

Record: 9-2
Key Wins: Darren Stewart (UFC Fight Night 120), Ryan Spann (DWTNCS 3), Wellington Turman (UFC Fight Night 155)
Key Losses: Glover Teixeira (UFC Fight Night 143), Cezar Ferreira (UFC 224)
Keys to Victory: Despite his fairly short professional career, Roberson has already faced some top-notch talent. “Baby K” is a sharp Southpaw with serious power in his left hand and kick, but he’s also managed to submit four of his opponents.

Roberson fights like a sniper, often circling the outside of the cage and stabbing his opponents with left hands as they attempt to step forward. Given Vettori’s general style of forcing the issue and throwing lots of strikes, openings for that left hand shot will likely prove available.

Against men like Vettori who look to force the fight, it’s imperative to choose when to attack. Vettori has a head like a cinder block; he wants Roberson to throw power punches each time he steps forward. Over time, all those punches will tire Roberson, while Vettori keeps throwing. To avoid such a fate, Roberson has to be willing to merely circle and evade at times, conserving his energy carefully in the likely event that Vettori does not crumble at the first clean connection.

Bottom Line

Two up-and-comers with beef will settle things in the Octagon. That’s a story we’ve all heard before, but it’s not a bad one!

Neither man is ranked, but this may be the final victory needed to earn a shot at a ranked foe. Both athletes have won their last two bouts, have experience with highly-ranked opponents, and are now featured on the main card. This may not be a high-profile show, but a co-main event win should help push the victor towards their goals.

Aside from all the personal feelings involved, a loss may sting a bit extra because this is the Middleweight division. For whatever reason, Middleweight infamously has an especially large mid-tier. It consists of athletes eternally stuck in the same position, unable to put together a major streak.

Both men wish to avoid that fate, so remaining in the win column is vital.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 10 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+“Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the main card portion that will also stream on ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC on ESPN 10: “Eye vs. Calvillo” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

At UFC on ESPN 10, Marvin Vettori and Karl Roberson will duel in the co-main event. Which man will have his hand raised?

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