One of the most anticipated fights of the year is now official.
The UFC officially announced that middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will face interim champion Israel Adesanya in a unification bout at UFC 243 on Oct. 5.
Currently the event does not have a location. However, Brett Okamoto of ESPN tweeted that Whittaker has been told that the event will take place in either Melbourne, or Las Vegas.
Literally just spoke to Robert Whittaker about this. He said he's been told the event will either take place in Melbourne or Las Vegas. https://t.co/vwYj3sJejn
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 5, 2019
Both men have had an interesting road to get to this fight.
After wining the interim (later promoted to undisputed) middleweight title from Yoel Romero at UFC 213 in July 2017, Whittaker was forced to withdrawal from a scheduled title defense against Luke Rockhold, after Whittaker suffered a sever staff infection.
Whittaker defeated Romero at in a catchweight bout UFC 225 in June 2018, only to be forced to withdraw due to a hernia hours before a scheduled title defense against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 234.
On that same night, Israel Adesanya’s fight with Anderson Silva was named as the replacement main event. Adesanya would win via unanimous decision.
Just two months later, at UFC 236 , Adesanya would defeat Gastelum via unanimous decision in a thrilling fight to crown an interim champion.
Given that Whittaker is a native of Australia, and Adesanya is a native of New Zealand, a fight in Oceania is expected to do massive gate numbers.
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