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.
Combate's @raphamarinho reports that the UFC will be holding UFC 243 at the 55,000+ capacity Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on October 5.
Dana White hinted yesterday that they would be bringing the fight between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya to Australia. https://t.co/KHeNw9XFYH
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) June 19, 2019
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.