UFC Fight Night Predictions: Vettori Vs. Cannonier

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One of the next editions of UFC Fight Night hosted by ESPN is less than a month away, as the headliner between former middleweight championship hopefuls Marvin Vettori and Jared Cannonier is slated for June 17, 2023 in Paradise, Nevada. 

Vettori enters the match as a slight favorite, listed at or around -165 at a handful of sportsbooks.  

It’s important to thoroughly explore your options before placing any bets if you believe you have a winning wager. This is because the odds and promotions provided can differ significantly between different sportsbooks so make sure to shop around and compare what various sportsbooks offer to maximize your potential benefits, here are some sportsbook promo codes to get you started if you want to wager on UFC on ESPN or any other betting event coming up soon. 

Here’s a comprehensive look at what could go down in Vettori vs Cannonier, including prop bets to keep an eye on, how the fighters stack up, and other matches to watch that aren’t on the main card. 

A native of Trento, Italy, Vettori is 29 years old and ranks No. 3 in the UFC Middleweight rankings as of late March. Nicknamed the Italian Dream, Vettori stands 6 feet tall and, as a middleweight, will want to clock in as close to the upper limit of 185 pounds as possible at the official weigh-in ahead of the fight. He has a 74-inch reach and possesses a 19-6-1 record in his career. 

Cannonier, on the other hand, hails from Dallas, Texas. He’s 39 years old but somehow still at the top of his career, slotting in right behind Vettori at No. 4 in the official middleweight rankings. Cannonier stands an inch shorter than his opponent, at 5-foot-11, but he has a significantly longer reach at 77 ½ inches. Vettori is a southpaw, while Cannonier is not, giving an interesting flair of balance to the fight. Cannonier only began fighting on the professional circuit in 2011, which may be part of how he’s been able to stay this strong to this point in his career: without another decade of wear and tear on his body.

He’s taken part in less fights than Vettori has, with a 16-6 record to this point in his career. A former heavyweight fighter, Cannonier specializes in knockouts, racking up ten of his victories that way. Vettori, on the other hand, only has two wins by knockout in his career, the rest pretty evenly split between decisions and submissions. 

Therefore, if you expect Cannonier to pull off the upset, it’s a good bet that the fight will take less than the five rounds on tap: if Vettori prevails as expected, though, there’s a good chance the fight will go the distance as he slowly whittles Cannonier’s resolve down. Cannonier has never lost via submission, so Vettori’s signature use of grappling and holds will be put to the test if he tries to overcome Cannonier that way. 

Each fighter enters the match having won their past fight after losing the bout beforehand: Vettori beat Roman Dolidze via unanimous decision in March, while Cannonier took down Sean Strickland in a split decision in December. Cannonier has had a long layoff, so he could either be the fresher fighter (or dealing with rust after half a year without a fight), depending on how you look at it. 

This bout has a lot riding on it because of the pair’s current world rankings: the winner will have an excellent chance at making a push for a fight that could give them the middleweight championship, whether it’s Cannonier coasting to a strong finish to his career, or Vettori just entering his prime with new heights to climb to. 

Stylistically, Vettori is one of the best fighters in the game today when he and his opponent are on the ground. Like Cannonier, he’s never lost a fight via submission, but that’s not for a lack of opportunities: Cannonier doesn’t go to the ground much, preferring to stay upright and deliver punishing strikes. His long reach makes it easier for him to ward off takedown attempts, and if his opponent tries to get too close at an ill-advised moment, the powerful Cannonier can immediately end the match with an explosive hit. Vettori’s best bet, then, is to slowly wear down Cannonier, opting to try and win by decision rather than by taking his opponent down. 

There will be 11 other fights during the preliminaries at Vettori vs Cannonier, so you’ll get to see plenty of action with fighters trying to jockey their way to the top of their respective weight classes should you tune in ahead of the main event.

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