UFC 243 fight card: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya middleweight title battle set to headline

A huge middleweight title fight is officially set. On Friday, just prior the UFC seasonal press conference in Las Vegas, the promotion announced that full titleholder Robert Whittaker and interim champion Israel Adesanya will headline the UFC 243 card set for Oct. 5. According to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Whittaker anticipates that the event will take place in either Las Vegas or Melbourne, Australia. 

Whittaker (20-4), a resident of Sydney, Australia, will be returning to the Octagon for the first time since his split-decision victory over Yoel Romero at UFC 225 in June 2018. The champion was scheduled to defend his title against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234 in Melbourne this past February, but was forced to pull out of the main event title defense just hours beforehand in order to undergo emergency surgery for a hernia as well as a collapsed bowel. 

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Adesanya (17-0) is one of the fastest rising young stars in the MMA game today, and his two most recent outings in the cage solidified him as such. On that aforementioned UFC 234 card, Adesanya outlasted legendary former 185-pound champion Anderson Silva in a thrilling bout that served as the replacement main event. Then at UFC 236 in April, with Whittaker still on the shelf, Adesanya followed that up by defeating Gastelum in an instant classic and Fight of the Year contender to claim the interim middleweight title. 

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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