UFC 243, which will be topped by a middleweight title fight between Australian champion Robert Whittaker and Kiwi interim champion Israel Adesanya, will officially go down in Australia. The card will emanate from Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. This exciting news was teased by Whittaker on Instagram and confirmed by The Daily Telegraph.
“I have unfinished business here,” Whittaker wrote on Instagram. “See you in October, Melbourne Australia.”
Melbourne seems like an obvious choice for this fight, but for a time, there was real question as to whether the UFC 243 card would land in the city. In fact, there was some question as to whether it would land in Australia at all.
The card will occur on October 6, the same day as Sydney’s NRL Grand Final, which provided some scheduling problems for the UFC. As a result, there was talk of promoting the card in Las Vegas. Despite these issues, however, the promotion has found a way to keep the card in Australia.
Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium holds almost 60,000 fans, and all signs point to a sellout or near-sellout for UFC 243. The UFC has sold out multiple shows in Australia previously, and given that this card is topped by a middleweight title fight between an Australian champion and a Kiwi interim champion, the chances of a home run seem high. The bout is already being dubbed the biggest MMA contest in Oceanic history.
“This show, it’s well overdue,” Whittaker told The Daily Telegraph. “And to have the opportunity to potentially fight in front of 60,000 people, I’m absolutely pumped.
“This fight, it’s going to be a milestone moment, not only for the Australian fight game but combat sports, period.
“MMA doesn’t often get these sorts of crowds. So to be one of the few fighters ever who gets to perform in front of an audience so large, it’s awesome.”
Who do you think will come out on top in the UFC 243 main event?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/23/2019.