UFC middleweight contender Marvin Vettori has revealed how he’s gotten ahead of any potential boos from the French crowd at UFC Paris.
Today, the UFC heads to France for the very first time, taking the Octagon to Paris’ Accor Arena. While the card boasts a host of exciting names, including hometown heavyweight Ciryl Gane in the headliner, it’s hard to identify a matchup more intriguing than the co-main event.
In a clash of top-five middleweight elites who are both looking to secure a trilogy fight with champion Israel Adesanya, Vettori and Whittaker will hit the Parisian streets later this year.
At the event, Vettori will be fighting in his home continent for the first time since pre-UFC when he fought under the Venator banner. With that in mind, “The Italian Dream” is looking to have the crowd on-side when he collides with Australia’s Whittaker.
And he’s not leaving that up to chance…
Vettori Looks To Pack The Arena With His Own
European MMA fans are well-known for getting behind their fighters, which will perhaps give Vettori some confidence about avoiding the kind of reception that he received in Arizona last June.
But the French and Italians certainly have a sporting rivalry, largely when it comes to football — a certain 2006 World Cup final and infamous headbutt come to mind.
While it’s perhaps unlikely that feud will cross over to mixed martial arts at UFC Paris, especially with Vettori facing a continental outsider, the 28-year-old isn’t taking any risks.
During an appearance on Brendan Schaub’s Food Truck Diaries, Vettori revealed the sheer number of people he’s bringing to France for the event, hoping to force a majority-level of support inside the Accor Arena.
“When was it the last time? I was in Phoenix and I was getting booed and sh*t like that. This time, just me, I’m bringing like, a thousand people,” Vettori said. “Just people who came through me, which is crazy, and then all the people that is gonna come from all over the world. So, definitely I’m not going to be booed in this one.”
Vettori can certainly secure cheers from the French fanbase by delivering a barnburner at UFC Paris. If his clash with Whittaker is anything like his main-event victory over Paulo Costa last October, he’ll certainly be doing just that.
How do you think the fight between Marvin Vettori and Robert Whittaker will play out at UFC Paris?