Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya reportedly set for UFC 243 in Melbourne

The UFC middleweight title unification bout between Oceanic rivals Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya is reportedly set for UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia.

First reported by Combate’s Raphael Marinho (H/T TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter), the event will take place in Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on October 5.

Marvel Stadium boasts a capacity of over 55,000 and was the venue which saw Holly Holm knock Ronda Rousey out to win the UFC women’s bantamweight championship at UFC 193 in November 2015.

Australian champion Whittaker hasn’t fought since last June, getting the split decision nod over Yoel Romero at UFC 225. But due to a series of injuries – “The Reaper” has only competed three times since 2016 – an interim belt was created in Whittaker’s absence.

That was won by Nigeria-born Kiwi Adesanya. “The Last Stylebender” defeated the likes of Derek Brunson, Anderson Silva and Kelvin Gastelum on his way to taking home gold back to New Zealand.

This will undoubtedly be the biggest MMA event ever held Down Under, feeding off the historic sporting rivalries between Australia and New Zealand.

UFC President Dana White recognises the significance of such a fight and event, saying he would build a card to “blow the f**king doors off” the region.

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.