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Robert Whittaker expects ‘very hard fight’ against Marvin Vettori but will ‘crack that nut’ at UFC Paris

Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will look to keep himself afloat in the increasingly-crowded title chase when he throws hands with fellow 185-pound bruiser Marvin Vettori at the UFC Paris event on Sat., Sept. 3, 2022 at Accor Arena in Paris, France.

And while “The Reaper” is known for his technical striking, his three-round bang-o-rama against “The Italian Dream” may turn into a dogfight, based on the damage delivered (and received) in some of Vettori’s previous performances.

“He’s just tenacious, he’s relentless, he’s tough as nails,” Whittaker told Submission Radio. “He’s very well-rounded as well. He’ll beat a lot of people just on grit alone, you know, and I’m looking forward to a hard fight, a very hard fight. But I’m gonna give it to him. 15 minutes, I’m gonna give it to him and see how he handles it. I know he’s tough. He’s tough as nails, but I’m looking forward to trying to crack that nut. I’m looking forward to just going in there and just seeing how much I can give him and how much he can take. And yeah, it’s a challenge in itself, it’s a part of the fun.”

The 31 year-old Whittaker (23-6) is 11-2 as a middleweight with his only two losses coming against reigning division champion Israel Adesanya. Similarly, Vettori (18-5-1) has been bested twice by “The Last Stylebender” and stands at 8-3-1 inside the Octagon.

“There’s definitely some sort of personality trait that he tries to get himself up,” Whittaker continued. “And it makes perfect sense with his fight style, which it’s all that, it’s aggression and just hyping himself up until he can’t feel anything anymore. Yeah, I don’t know what to expect from him. It’s hard. I don’t see people… what are you gonna do against someone who doesn’t want to be a part of it? Like, I don’t want to be a part of those shenanigans, but I’m good at them though. We’ll wait and see.”

Vettori, 28, is coming off a gritty, unanimous decision win over Paulo Costa at UFC Vegas 41 to keep himself relevant among the middleweight Top 5. Whittaker, meanwhile, turned in an admirable performance against Adesanya in a losing effort at UFC 271.

To see who else is fighting at UFC Paris click here.