The first UFC pay-per-view of the fall finds the MMA promotion in Brisbane, Australia.
Saturday night (Sunday in Australia), Marvel Stadium plays host to the second PPV event of the year in the country, UFC 243, with 11 fights scheduled to take place.
A scheduled fight between Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington was also slated to happen at UFC 243, but was postponed after the former sustained a torn hamstring.
Inside the United States, the card begins with preliminary action Saturday evening at 6:15 p.m. EDT, 3:15 p.m. EDT on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, continuing with TV prelims at 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT.
TV note: Due to ESPN’s coverage of college football action, the TV prelims of UFC 243 will be broadcast on ESPN2. The five-fight main card can be streamed via ESPN+ pay-per-view at 10 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. PDT.
For those of you in Canada who wish to preorder this event, please contact your local TV provider or buy the card with your remote control.
If you wish to watch the event at a restaurant, simply access bars.ufc.com and enter your ZIP code. From there, you’ll see a list of bars in your local area that are confirmed and unconfirmed to be showing UFC 243 on Saturday night. For the unconfirmed bars, simply call ahead.
Let’s turn our attention back to the card as a whole. Highlighting UFC 243 is a title fight in the promotion’s Middleweight division between champion Robert Whittaker (21-4) and No. 1 contender Israel Adesanya (17-0). As usual, this main event is a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
Heading into Saturday night’s title bout, challenger Israel Adesanya is the taller contestant, standing 6-foot-4, four inches taller than champion Robert Whittaker at six feet even.
Both contestants are coming off wins last time out. Both have posted 5-0 records heading into this event.
For champion Whittaker, he most recently defeated Yoel Romero by split decision in UFC 225’s headliner on pay-per-view in June of 2018. He was slated to fight Kelvin Gastelum in UFC 234’s main event on Feb. 9. However, in the hours leading up to the card, the fight was postponed due to Whittaker needing emergency surgery to correct a hernia.
In the other corner, Israel Adesanya defeated Gastelum in UFC 236’s co-main event (unanimous decision) in April to capture the promotion’s Interim Middleweight title.
The Tale of the Tape
UFC.com shows that Israel Adesanya owns both the reach (80 inches to 73.5 inches) and the leg reach (44.5 inches to 43 inches) advantage heading into this fight.
Prediction: Israel Adesanya by first-round KO.
Other fights on Saturday’s main card
No. 6 contender Al Iaquinta (14-4-1) vs. No. 15 contender Dan Hooker (18-8) [Lightweight, co-main event]
No. 14 contender Tai Tuivasa (14-1) vs. Serghei Spivac (9-0) [Heavyweight]
Luke Jimeau (13-4) vs. Dheigo Lima (15-7) [Welterweight]
Justin Tafa (3-0, UFC debut) vs. Yorgan deCastro (5-0, UFC debut) [Heavyweight]
UFC 243 at a Glance
Early Prelims: Saturday, 6:15 p.m. EDT, 3:15 p.m. PDT, ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass
TV Prelims: Saturday, 8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT, ESPN2 (ESPN airing CFB)
Main Card: Saturday, 10 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. PDT, ESPN+ PPV
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