According to UFC president Dana White, Marvin Vettori is the front-runner to be the next to challenge UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

Although former champion Robert Whittaker just cemented his No. 1 spot by taking out another top contender in Kelvin Gastelum this past weekend at UFC on ESPN 22, White says the UFC is currently moving in the direction of Adesanya (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) vs. Vettori (17-4-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC).

Whittaker outworked Gastelum in a five-round battle but reportedly isn’t ready for a quick turnaround to face “The Last Stylebender.”

“It’s looking like Rob Whittaker, who just fought on Saturday night, isn’t going to be ready to fight Israel Adesanya at the time Israel Adesanya wants to fight, so it’ll probably be Marvin Vettori first,” White said on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.”

White had high praise for Vettori, who he dubbed as a future star for the promotion. Since getting edged out by Adesanya in April 2018, “The Italian Dream” has won five straight, most recently scoring back-to-back unanimous decision wins over Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland.

“Much like Conor McGregor, Conor ignited Europe,” White said. “Everybody who didn’t know UFC knows UFC now because of Conor McGregor. This is what this guy will do for Italy.”

Vettori has not minced his words when it comes to Adesanya. The 27-year-old, who’s the only man to take a scorecard off Adesanya at middleweight, has been eager to run things back ever since losing a split decision to him. Now, he may just get his chance, and he’ll get to do it for the coveted prize of the UFC middleweight championship, too.