A battle between neighboring countries highlights UFC 243 as middleweight champion Robert Whittaker meets interim titleholder Israel Adesanya at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Whittaker, born in New Zealand but currently residing in Australia, last competed at UFC 225 in June of 2018 when he defeated Yoel Romero by split decision. He was set to return to fight at UFC 234 in Australia against Kelvin Gastelum. Hours before the bout, though, Whittaker (21-4) was forced to pull out as he had to have dual surgery to repair an abdominal hernia of the intestine and a twisted and collapsed bowel.
Enter the Nigerian now living in New Zealand in Adesanya. When Whittaker had to bow out of UFC 234, Adesanya's (17-0) match against the legendary Anderson Silva got bumped up to the main event. The dynamic striker won by unanimous decision.
He didn't stay out of the Octagon long the UFC put him in an interim title fight vs. Gastelum at UFC 236. In one of the best fights of 2019, Adesanya and Gastelum went toe-to-toe for 25 minutes, leaving their blood, sweat and tears in the cage. But there had to be a winner, and that was Adesanya by unanimous decision, earning him his first UFC belt.
If you are looking to watch a grappling match, then Whittaker-Adesanya isn't for you. Whittaker has heavy hands with nine knockouts, and Adesanya is arguably the most dynamic striker in the UFC with 13 of his wins by KO.
UFC 243 is a one-match show, but that's all you need because of the magnitude of the main event.
When is UFC 243?
UFC 243 will take place Saturday, Oct. 5. Pay-per-view coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET. Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya should enter the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET.
How do I watch UFC 243?
The main card on pay-per-view can be purchased for $59.99. Every PPV can be seen exclusively through the end of 2025 on ESPN+.
Where is UFC 243?
UFC 243 will be held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
UFC 243 betting odds
According to sportsbookreview.com (as of Oct. 2), it is practically a pick'em fight. Robert Whittaker is a -110 favorite, which means you'd need to bet $110 to win $100. Israel Adesanya is a -120 favorite, meaning if you were to bet $120, you would net $100.
Robert Whittaker record, bio
Name: Robert Whittaker
Born: December 20, 1990
Reach: 73 1/2 inches
Total fights: 25
Israel Adesanya record, bio
Name: Israel Adesanya
Born: July 22, 1989
Reach: 80 inches
Total fights: 17
UFC 243 fight card
Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya for the undisputed Middleweight championship
Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker; Lightweight
Sergey Spivak vs. Tai Tuivasa; Heavyweight
Luke Jumeau vs. Dhiego Lima; Welterweight
Yorgan De Castro vs. Justin Tafa; Heavyweight
Rostem Akman vs. Jake Matthews; Welterweight
Maki Pitolo vs. Callan Potter; Welterweight
Megan Anderson vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos; Women's Featherweight
Jamie Mullarkey vs. Brad Riddell; Lightweight
Nadia Kassem vs. Ji Yeon Kim; Women's Strawweight
Bruno Silva vs. Khalid Taha; Bantamweight