Robert Whittaker: Marvin Vettori’s fake handshake at UFC Paris weigh-ins ‘a grubby thing to do’

·1 min read

PARIS – Robert Whittaker admits Marvin Vettori’s pre-fight antics got to him a bit.

The former UFC middleweight champion was left hanging at Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night 209 after his opponent faked a handshake and then got in his face for a tense staredown. Whittaker (24-6 MMA, 15-4 UFC) went on to beat Vettori (18-6-1 MMA, 8-4-1 UFC) in a unanimous decision in the co-main event of the card.

Afterward, Whittaker told reporters that Vettori’s fake handshake didn’t sit well with him.

“It was grubby,” Whittaker said at the UFC Fight Night 209 post-fight press conference. “It was just grubby. It’s a grubby thing to do. My coaches anticipated he would do something like that to annoy me. It did. It was a grubby act.”

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And as far as his performance, Whittaker was able to bounce back from his second championship loss to Israel Adesanya and solidify his status as a top contender in the division.

Whittaker was very much happy with his showing, but says there’s room for improvement.

“I think I let the feeling out process go on a little too long in the first round,” Whittaker said. “I started a little slower than I would’ve liked in hindsight. But that’s always the beauty of hindsight, and after I gauged his space, controlled it, worked out his range, yeah, went to work.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 209.

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie