- By Cypress Austin | @4zayd | Sep 22, 2019, 10:33pm EST
UFC 243: Whittaker vs Adesanya is set to be the largest fight event in Australian history. On October 5, 2019 Robert Whittaker takes on Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title as the main event in Melbourne, Australia. For the co-main event Al Iaquinta fights Dan Hooker as well as Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington in women’s bantamweight.
Robert Whittaker vs Israel Adesanya
This fight is interesting and will most likely be closely contested, but we must give the edge to Israel either be a late finish or a decision. It will likely not come down to conditioning, but rather about who can find their rhythm first and make the right adjustments. Adesanya has an edge in striking, however Whittaker has an edge in octagon experience; this could also be his downfall. The strike differential will increase in favor of Adesanya as the fight goes on. Whittaker may not have as much endurance, considering the damage he has taken in the past two fights including having to pull out of his last fight. He took some damage from his fight with Romero, and there is only so much damage a fighter’s body can take without permanent damage. The fact that Israel has been so active will play to his benefit, and it will take longer for Robert Whittaker to find his rhythm in the fight.
It will help Whittaker to start early against Israel; When Whittaker was fighting Yoel Romero, he knew that by the championship rounds he could really shine as Romero would be pretty much gassed and looking to pot shot him or take breaks against the cage. Fourth and fifth round Adesanya is a totally different monster than Romero in the later parts of the fight, offering way more variety and not wasting any energy with his technique. Robert’s best weapon is his rear roundhouse kick, and that could also potentially cause problems for Adesanya. We saw in his last fight Kelvin Gastelum was rocked with that same kick, but that was more likely due to a surprise element as Kelvin is not known for landing head kicks consistently. Adesanya will most likely be well prepared for Whittaker’s kicks and will be able to counter him well going backwards and forwards. I don’t see this fight going to the ground, and if it does I don’t see it staying there as these two fighters are probably amongst the best at takedown defense and getting the fight back up to the feet.
This will be one for the history books, with many other great fights on the card. Styles make matchups and this fight will in no way end up being boring. Whittaker will bring the best out of Adesanya because just as Kelvin did, he goes forward and is looking for the finish and Adesanya will once again have to show his grit and championship mentality in order to unify the belt.