The anticipated Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya middleweight title match-up is official.
The UFC announced on Twitter today (Fri., July 5, 2019) that undisputed champ Whittaker will take on interim champion Adesanya in the main event of October 5’s UFC 243. The promotion curiously did not announce a location for the card, however:
The fight has been considered a foregone conclusion ever since ‘The Last Stylebender’ beat Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 this April. Dana White recently said he was planning to “blow the doors off Australia” this fall.
Both men sit atop the talented UFC middleweight rankings right now, albeit having taken different paths recently. The oft-injured Whittaker has fought rarely in 2017 and 2018, facing Yoel Romero once each year. He outlasted the Cuban powerhouse in two classic wars, yet it’s safe to question how much those respective bouts took out of him. He was sidelined with knee surgery after his first bout with Romero at UFC 213, then hospitalized with hernia surgery prior to his scheduled return at UFC 236.
The undefeated Adesanya, meanwhile, has been a picture of consistency since making his Octagon debut back in February 2018. He’s fought an unheard-of six times in less than a year-and-a-half total in the UFC and won all six.
Regardless, with both men having ties to Australia, this is far and away the biggest fight for the country. Let’s hope it stays intact.
Who are you picking to win this pivotal middleweight title bout?