On Saturday, Oct. 5 (in North America), the UFC hosted UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya from Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
In the night’s main event, middleweight champion Robert Whittaker clashed with interim titleholder Israel Adesanya in a unification bout. Whittaker entered the match-up having won nine straight fights in the Octagon. However, the New Zealand-born fighter suffered an abdominal hernia in February and had been out of action ever since. Adesanya, meanwhile, had taken the division by storm since transitioning to MMA from kickboxing. The Nigeria native was undefeated through his first 17 MMA fights, including six straight under the UFC banner. He defeated Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 to claim interim gold.
The 11-fight event kicked off with two preliminary-card fights streaming live on ESPN+ at 6:45 p.m. ET. Four additional prelims followed on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET, with the five-fight main card airing on ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.