UFC’s next PPV venture takes it to the other side of the world when middleweight champion Robert Whittaker puts his belt on the line against interim champ Israel Adesanya. Whittaker has been out of action since June 2018 with injuries, forcing him to withdraw from a scheduled defense against Kelvin Gastelum in February the day of the event.
This will be Whittaker’s first title defense against somebody not named Yoel Romero, as he claimed the interim title over the Cuban fighter in 2017 before it was elevated to the full crown after Georges St-Pierre vacated the belt shortly after beating Michael Bisping. Whittaker beat Romero in the rematch in 2018 by split decision.
Adesanya took on Gastelum in his place in April, scoring a decision win in one of the best fights of 2019. The all-Oceanic showdown will be held at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne and could break UFC attendance records in the process.
In the co-main event, Adesanya’s teammate and training partner, Dan Hooker, will look to maintain his momentum in the lightweight division when he takes on Al Iaquinta. Hooker bounced back from a TKO loss to Edson Barboza with his own finish of James Vick in April. Iaquinta is coming off a decision loss to Donald Cerrone in May.
After being booked for her first fight in Australia since stunning Ronda Rousey in 2015, Holly Holm was forced to withdraw from her bout with Raquel Pennington because of an undisclosed injury. The fight would have landed on the PPV portion of the card and been a homecoming of sorts after Holm defeated Rousey in this same stadium in December 2015. The card is expected to proceed with 11 bouts.
Below is a running list of fights scheduled to take place at UFC 243 on Oct. 5. This page will be updated with any new fights or adjustments made to the card.
UFC 243 viewing info
Date: Saturday, Oct. 5 | Location: Marvel Stadium — Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Time: 10 p.m. ET
Stream: ESPN+ | Price: $59.99