This is a big fight right here!
It was supposed to happen back on May 13th but Karl Roberson had weight cutting issues.
He originally missed weight and he dismissed using the two-hour window the weigh ins provided by showing up as early as possible to miss weight.
Maybe he tried hard beforehand but he showed no effort in the final couple of hours to try to make the weight.
There have since been a couple of hotel shouting matches from the two men so the UFC decided to stick with the matchup and now Roberson, who was originally on short notice, has zero excuses not to make weight.
If you aren’t familiar with either fighter, you will be by the end of this article and you’re going to have a valuable pick for Saturday’s UFC event.
These two rising stars in the UFC’s Middleweight Division will be the co-main event of the night!
Italy’s Marvin Vettori has been a cash cow for sharp MMA bettors for a couple of years now.
He doesn’t have the big name yet, so many times he flies under the radar of the casual fan or “action” bettor.
At only 26-years-old, Vettori could be a future champion.
Current middleweight title-holder Israel Adesanya has fought Marvin Vettori but it was close…
It was just over 2 years ago and the young Italian was able to take the future champ to a split decision.
Marvin took Adesanya down twice in that fight and was only out-struck by 10 strikes in what was a low volume fight.
The two combined for just over 100 significant strikes landed in the 15-minute battle.
Since then, Vettori has won his next two fights over a couple of strong grapplers in Andrew Sanchez and Cezar Ferreira.
He was 2-4 in takedowns and his opponents went 0-7.
Karl Roberson is an up-and-coming athletic striker like Adesanya except he is also versed in submissions, or at least he has proven this to us.
Maybe Izzy can tap Jacare Souza in a grappling match. I don’t know.
Yes, I do.
Adesanya does have a hole in his game, albeit a small one.
We know Marvin Vettori or even Roberson, perhaps, would match up well against the champ.
Karl Roberson got his start with the promotion on Dana White’s Contender Series.
He fought Ryan Spann, a massive guy.
This one was over as fast as it started. Spann shot in and as Karl Roberson defended, he also found time to smash Ryan with a couple of elbows and that was it!
He then fought scary British striker Darren The Dentist Stewart and quickly dispatched him in the first round by “Mata Leao” aka the lion kill also known as the rear naked choke.
Karl has been very impressive thus far in his young UFC career but has been tapped out due to arm triangle by both Glover Teixeira and Cezar Ferreira.
BetOnline.AG has the best betting odds for this fight.
Let’s break down these two guys a bit further and make our prediction for Saturday night’s middleweight scrap.
Marvin Vettori (-205) vs Karl Roberson (+175)
Marvin is a grappler with very good takedowns and an excellent top game.
He loves to pressure his opponents when the fight is standing.
This works very well against counter strikers who might not have knockout power.
Enter Karl Roberson.
He’s a solid kickboxer with decent takedown defense and isn’t afraid to go for the choke or finish with elbows when his opponents are attempting to drag him down to the mat.
Both men are southpaws. When I see two lefties matchup up, I like to research how each man deals with the situation.
- If Karl threw more combinations with his striking, I think it might be enough to keep the Italian’s forward pressure under control.
- Roberson likes to kick and “naked” kicks are not advisable, especially against a front foot fighter like Vettori.
On paper, guys, Karl is the better striker.
He doesn’t have a reach advantage, though, here. Actually, neither man does. They line up with each other perfectly.
If Marvin is able to get a couple of takedowns, I think he will mostly cruise to a win.
Karl has been taken down in the past by grapplers who don’t have the same level of top game as Marvin.
It’s going to be a fun fight, for sure.
There is the small Octagon to take into account as well.
That favors Marvin.
I think we could definitely see this one ending inside the distance.
I guess it depends on who is controlling the pace of the fight.
Karl Roberson is more “kill or be killed” in there and Vettori is a decision machine.
Since I think Marv will have control, I will stay away.
Let’s be boring here and take Marv on the moneyline.
It’s not the (-173) we had him at a few weeks ago but (-205) is still doable.
The winner of this fight is going to be ranked in the top 10.
Honestly, I don’t know how Marvin Vettori isn’t already.
He nearly defeated the champion.
No one else inside the top ten can say that besides maybe Kelvin Gastelum but he was still finished.
Karl Roberson does present some stylistic challenges for Marvin.
He is the far better kicker.
How many of those kicks is he willing to throw against a fighter with such strong takedowns and intimidating top game on the mat.
If you’re good, you can effectively punch while moving backward but kicking, not so much.
You have to balance on one leg and not only is it difficult to pull off but you can be countered hard with punches as forward movement is generally faster than backward.
Couple that with your back eventually touching the cage and then your kick, if you’re able to throw it, has about the same range as your opponent’s punch.
Karl has those elbows he throws while defending takedowns.
There is the possibility that he hurts Marvin with a few of those but the Italian superstar is well aware of what’s coming and as smart as he fights, should be able to avoid them.
Get your bets in now, guys, and enjoy the fights this Saturday night!