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UFC 243 fight card primer: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya

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In the main event of UFC 243 this weekend, current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (20-4 MMA; 11-2 UFC) will hope to hand interim champion Israel Adesanya (17-0 MMA; 6-0 UFC) his first ever loss and prove himself king of the 185-pound division. UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya airs live from the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia this Saturday night, October 6th. The main card airs on PPV via ESPN+ with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN2 prelims starting at 8:00 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. ET on Fight Pass.

How do these two stack up?

Cormier: 28 years old | 6’0” | 73.5” reach
Adesanya: 30 years old | 6’4” | 80” reach

What have these two done recently?

Whittaker: W – Yoel Romero (DEC) | W – Yoel Romero (DEC) | W – Jacare Souza (TKO)
Adesanya: W – Kelvin Gastelum (DEC) | W – Anderson Silva (DEC) | W – Derek Brunson (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Whittaker comes into the fight with Adesanya looking to extend his UFC winning streak to ten. Since winning the interim middleweight title against Yoel Romero “The Reaper” and later being promoted to undisputed champion, Whittaker has only defended his title once, in another hard fought battle against Romero in June of last year. After an injury forced him out of a scheduled title defence against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234, Adesanya eventually went on to face Gastelum for the interim middleweight title, and now Whittaker will hope to hand Adesanya his first ever loss when they fight Saturday night.

Adesanya comes into the fight with Whittaker undefeated not only in his UFC career, but his MMA career. Fighting four times last year, “The Last Stylebender” earned three $50,000 bonuses in those fights. When Whittaker pulled out of his fight with Gastelum at UFC 234, Adesanya’s fight with Anderson Silva was bumped up to the main event, a fight that Adesanya went on to win by unanimous decision. Since then Adesanya went on to defeat Gastelum in a 2019 FOTY contender, he will now hope to improve to 18-0 when he faces Whittaker.

Why should you care?

The style matchup between the gritty Whittaker and undefeated Adesanya is bound to be a good one.


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