Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya, emanating from Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
The Octagon heads back to the biggest venue in Melbourne for the most anticipated fight in Australian mixed martial arts history.
UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker makes his long-awaited return to action when he takes on Interim UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya in a title unification bout. Whittaker hasn't fought since a June 2018 win over Yoel Romero, while Adesanya looks to remain undefeated in his career and become the undisputed champion after beating Kelvin Gastelum in an interim title fight in April at UFC 236.
In the co-main event, it will be a battle of exciting lightweights as Al Iaquinta looks to get back into the win column when he takes on Dan Hooker. Also on the card is a heavyweight battle between Tai Tuivasa and Serghei Spivac, and a welterweight bout between Jake Matthews and Rostam Akman headlines the preliminary card.
This show is expected to be one of the highest attended UFC events of all-time, and could potentially surpass UFC 193, which was also held at Marvel Stadium, as the most attended event in UFC history.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way through the main card.
We are looking for your thoughts on tonight's event, so send a thumbs up, a thumbs down or a thumbs in the middle along with a best fight and a worst fight to Dave at email@example.com.
ESPN+/UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS | 6:45 PM ET/3:45 PM PT
> Khalid Taha (13-2, 1-1 UFC) vs. Bruno Silva (11-3-1, 0-0 UFC)
Bantamweights* (Taha missed weight by 1 pound)
Very tentative start in the first minute and Taha knocks Silva down briefly with a left hook. Silva gets up and gets the clinch. They break and trade. They trade kicks and punches in close range. Taha just misses a right hand. Silva with a body kick and Taha counters with his own. Taha lands another right hand. Silva with a low kick and we have a timeout. Back to action and they clinch and Silva knees Taha in the cup and we have another timeout. No point was taken. They get back to action and clinch and the round ends. 10-9 Taha.
Taha dropped Silva right at the start of the second with a right hand and almost landed an illegal kick. Silva got up and they were trading. Silva grabs a single leg but Taha defends though Silva does get him down. Silva with some hammerfists from the top before he moves to side control. Silva remaining on top as he is looking for transitions and lands some elbows. Taha tries to sprawl out and Silva has his neck. 10-9 Silva, 19-19.
Silva gets an early takedown to start the third but they scramble up and Silva has Taha pinned against the fence. Silva trying to get Taha down but Taha landing some elbows. Taha grabs the neck and drags Silva down and tries to transition but Silva gets up and they remain clinched before breaking. Taha with a body kick. Silva shoots but Taha sprawls and lands some big elbows and grabs the back and lands punches. Taha looks to put his arm under the neck. Taha gets on top and has an arm triangle locked in and it is tight. Silva taps! Taha gets the submission win in the third.
Official Result- Khalid Taha def. Bruno Silva by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:00 of Round 3
> Nadia Kassem (5-1, 1-1 UFC) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (8-2-2, 2-2 UFC)
Women's Flyweights* (Kim missed weight by 2 pounds)
Kassem with a side kick right at the start and then gets dropped with a left hand but she gets up. They clinch and both looking for a takedown and Kassem gets it. They get up. Kim lands some punches. Kassem with some side kicks. Kim lands some punches and they clinch. They trade knees in a tie-up. Boring first round. 10-9 Kassem.
Kassem throws a couple of kicks. Kim misses a right hand. Kim lands a combo. They trade in close range and Kim lands an uppercut. Kassem staying more active and trying to throw Kim off rhythm. Kim started landing punches and knocked Kassem's mouthpiece out and the referee broke it off during action. Bad mistake. They got back to action and Kim lands some punches. Kim landing more punches with a hard right hand. Kim rocks Kassem with a left hand. Kim landing a flurry of punches and Kassem is in trouble. Kim trying to finish. Kim lands big punches and drops Kassem with a body punch and the fight is stopped. Big finish by Kim to get the win.
Official Result- Ji Yeon Kim def. Nadia Kassem by TKO (punches) at 4:59 of Round 2
ESPN2 PRELIMS | 8 PM ET/5 PM PT
> Megan Anderson (9-4, 1-2 UFC) vs. Zarah Fairn (6-2, 0-0 UFC)
Fairn with a combo right at the start and they clinch. Anderson has the body lock. Fairn landing some punches. Anderson gets the takedown. Anderson has the mount against the fence. Anderson with some short elbows from the top. Fairn is cut open. Fairn able to explode from the bottom and is in the guard. Anderson looking for a triangle choke. It is locked in and Fairn taps. Anderson with the big win.
Official Result- Megan Anderson def. Zarah Fairn by submission (triangle choke) at 3:57 of Round 1
> Brad Riddell (6-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (12-2, 0-0 UFC)
Mullarkey with the jab and Riddell lands a right hand. They trade combinations and Riddell with a leg kick. Riddell with a combo in close range. They clinch and Mullarkey has Riddell pushed against the fence. They break and Mullarkey with a left hand. Riddell with a left hand. Riddell with a left hook to the body. They exchange late. 10-9 Riddell.
Mullarkey gets a brief takedown in the second off a kick from Riddell but they get back up. Riddell with a kick and Mullarkey catches it and takes Riddell down. Riddell reverses to side control. They scramble up and Mullarkey looking for a takedown against the fence. Riddell with a big left hook. Mullarkey shoots for a takedown but Riddell defends. Mullarkey tries again and Riddell sprawls and ends up mounting Mullarkey. Mullarkey reverses and ends the round on top. 10-9 Riddell, 20-18 Riddell.
Mullarkey tries a takedown but Riddell defends. Riddell then gets a takedown and works from the top landing punches. They get to their feet and are trading big punches. Mullarkey lands a big left hand and takes Riddell down and has the back and looks for a rear-naked choke. Mullarkey rocked Riddell badly there. Riddell escapes and they start trading on the feet. Riddell with a big combination and takes Mullarkey down. Riddell landing big punches from the top. They get up and are trading. Riddell landing big punches to the head and body. Riddell with a hard right hand and Mullarkey is really rocked. Riddell lands a hard right and slips to the ground. Mullarkey tries a takedown and is on the bottom and Riddell lands punches from the top. They are both tired. Riddell lands a hard right hand as they are both on the ground and the fight ends. The last round was crazy. 10-9 Riddell, 30-27 Riddell.
Official Result- Brad Riddell def. Jamie Mullarkey by unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26)
> Callan Potter (17-8, 0-1 UFC) vs. Maki Pitolo (12-4, 0-0 UFC)
They trade early and Potter lands a left hand and they clinch but break. Pitolo landing a good combo and they each land punches. Both throwing big bombs. Potter lands a right hand and then a left hook. Potter tries a takedown but pulls guard. Pitolo gets the back and looks for a rear-naked choke but Potter escapes. They got to their feet and Potter gets a slam takedown but they get to their feet. Both landing punches and Potter lands a nice left hook. Potter lands a right hand. They clinch at the end. 10-9 Pitolo.
Pitolo lands a good combo to start the second. Potter lands a left hand. Pitolo with a combo. Potter with a left hook and a knee to the body. They trade punches and both look tired. They clinch and Pitolo has the body lock. They now battle for underhooks. Potter with short knees to the legs. They break to the center. They trade punches in a close range brawl. They break and exchange punches at the end of the round. 10-9 Potter, 19-19.
They tie up right away and Potter reverses a takedown attempt from Pitolo and ends up on top in the half-guard. They get to their feet and trade and Potter gets a takedown. Potter working from the top and gets the full mount and Pitolo is doing nothing to get up from the bottom. Potter landign from the top. Potter ends the fight in the mount. 10-9 Potter, 29-28 Potter.
Official Result- Callan Potter def. Maki Pitolo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Jake Matthews (13-4, 7-4 UFC) vs. Rostem Akman (6-1, 0-1 UFC)
Matthews with a leg kick. Matthews with more leg kicks. Akman comes forward with punches but Matthews slips away. Akman with a left hand. Matthews with a right hand and then lands a quick flurry. Matthews with a right hand and then a left. They trade and Akman with a right hand. Matthews with a right hand. Matthews with an overhand right. 10-9 Matthews.
Matthews with a right hand. Akman just barely lands a right hand. Both men being patient and trying to find openings. Matthews with a high kick and follows it with a right hand. Both throw heavy right hands that miss. Matthews with a combo. They trade. Both landing punches and Matthews with some heavy kicks. 10-9 Matthews, 20-18 Matthews.
Matthews still looking to land a good punch but not doing much of anything else. Matthews now landing jabs to the body. Matthews with a combo and a leg kick. No one taking any real risks inside there. Matthews gets the back standng and gets a brief takedown. Akman reverses and they both land as they break to the center. Matthews with a counter right hand. They trade late and Matthews gets the back. Akman grabs the neck and drops down but the fight ends. 10-9 Matthews, 30-27 Matthews.
Official Result- Jake Matthews def. Rostem Akman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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> Justin Tafa (3-0, 0-0 UFC) vs. Yorgan De Castro (5-0, 0-0 UFC)
Tafa lands a big left hand to start. They clinch and break and both throwing bombs. De Castro with a body kick. They clinch but nothing much happens. Tafa lands an uppercut to the body. Tafa rushes in and De Castro lands a right hand that puts Tafa out cold. Wow, that was a great knockout by De Castro.
Official Result- Yorgan De Castro def. Justin Tafa by knockout (punch) at 2:10 of Round 1
> Luke Jumeau (13-4, 2-1 UFC) vs. Dhiego Lima (14-7, 3-5 UFC)
Jumeau with a leg kick. Lima with a leg kick. Lima with another leg kick and Jumeau counters with a high kick. Lima with a leg kick. Not a lot of punches being thrown. Lima with a hard leg kick. Jumeau with a leg kick. Lima with the jab. They trade leg kicks. They trade punches. A lot of feinting going on in this round. Jumeau with a right hand. 10-9 Lima.
Lima lands a hard leg kick that sends Jumeau down for a moment. Jumeau gets up and tries a high kick and Lima grabs the leg and takes him down. They get to their feet. Jumeau throws a kick and Lima grabs it and they clinch against the fence. They break and Lima with a leg kick followed by a left hand. They both rock each other with punches. Jumeau now stalking Lima around the Octagon. Lima gets a takedown. They get to their feet before the round ends. 10-9 Lima, 20-18 Lima.
Lima attacking with more leg kicks to start the third. Lima lands an overhand right. Jumeau misses a left hook. Jumeau tries to land a combo but not much lands. Jumeau misses a loaded right hand. Lima with a leg kick. Lima goes for a takedown and pushes Jumeau against the fence but Jumeau defends. They break. Jumeau lands a right hand. Lima tries a takedown but Jumeau defends. Not the most exciting fight. 10-9 Lima, 30-27 Lima.
Official Result- Dhiego Lima def. Luke Jumeau by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
> Tai Tuivasa (#14, 8-2, 3-2 UFC) vs. Serghei Spivac (9-1, 0-1 UFC)
Tuivasa kicks Spivac's legs out from under him and lands a hammerfist and lets Spivac up. Tuivasa with an uppercut and then a right hand. Spivac with a right hand and takes Tuivasa down. Tuivasa slides to the fence. They get up and break. Tuivasa with a left hand and Spivac counters with a body kick. Spivac gets a takedown but they get up. Tuivasa with a combo against the fence. Spivac with another takedown but Tuivasa works his way up. Spivac with another headlock takedown. Spivac with some left hands. Spivac trying a bulldog choke but Tuivasa escapes to his feet. Spivac gets another takedown. He ends the round on top. 10-9 Spivac.
They trade and Spivac gets another takedown against the fence. They get up and trade knees and Tuivasa with an elbow. Tuivasa lands a right hand. Tuivasa with a left hand. Spivac tries another takedown and gets it. Spivac gets the mount and lands some strikes from the top. Big elbow from Spivac cuts Tuivasa open. Spivac with punches from the top. Spivac gets an arm-triangle choke locked in and Tuivasa goes out cold. Spivac with his first UFC win in an upset.
Official Result- Serghei Spivac def. Tai Tuivasa by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 3:14 of Round 2
> Al Iaquinta (#6, 14-5-1, 9-4 UFC) vs. Dan Hooker (#15, 18-8, 8-4 UFC)
Hooker with a leg kick. Hooker with another leg kick. Iaquinta with a body kick. Both land in an exchange. Hooker lands a right hand. Iaquinta lands a right hand. Hooker with a body kick. Hooker with a leg kick. Iaquinta grabs a single leg looking for a takedown. Hooker defends and is landing big elbows and punches. Hooker now has top and lands and grabs the neck but Iaquinta escapes. Hooker now has the back and the hooks in. Iaquinta escapes to his feet. Hooker with a leg kick. Hooker with a high kick. 10-9 Hooker.
Hooker with some leg kicks and Iaquinta lands an inside leg kick. Hooker with an inside leg kick as Iaquinta lands a punch. Hooker with a leg kick as Iaquinta shoots in for a takedown. Iaquinta just misses a right hand but lands one as he comes in. Hooker with calf kicks that are hurting Iaquinta. Hooker with a leg kick and Iaquinta tries a takedown but Hooker defends. Hooker then gets the back of Iaquinta as they stand. They break and Hooker with a combo and then knocks Iaquinta down with a right hand. Hooker gets the top and lands an elbow and follows up with punches. Hooker tries for a leg lock and Iaquinta tries an ankle lock. 10-9 Hooker, 20-18 Hooker.
Iaquinta lands a left hand as Hooker lands a leg kick. Hooker with a head kick. Iaquinta with a left hand. Iaquinta landing some punches. Hooker with an elbow as Iaquinta comes in. Hooker with a left hook. Hooker tries a high kick and almost slips. Iaquinta lands a big right hand. Iaquinta is bleeding. Iaquinta with a leg kick and then an uppercut. Iaquinta with a right hand. Hooker with a leg kick. Hooker with a right hand. Iaquinta with a left hand. Iaquinta with a left hand but Hooker is landing counters. Hooker with a leg kick. 10-9 Hooker, 30-27 Hooker.
Official Result- Dan Hooker def. Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
> Robert Whittaker (C, 20-4, 11-2 UFC) vs. Israel Adesanya (IC, 17-0, 6-0 UFC)
UFC Middleweight Championship
Both looking for leg kicks early. Whittaker with a leg kick. Whittaker cracks Adesanya with a punch. Whittaker lands a left hand. Whittaker with an overhand right as Adesanya lands the jab. Adesanya lands a right hand. Whittaker just misses a right hand. Whittaker with a left hand and then a leg kick. Adesanya with a high kick. Whittaker blocks a head kick attempt from Adesanya. They trade punches. Whittaker with a leg kick. They trade in close range. Adesanya with a right hand. Adesanya knocked Whittaker down right at the end of the round with a big right hand. 10-9 Adesanya.
Whittaker with a right hand and then lands a left hand coming forward. Whittker with the jab followed by a right hand. Adesanya with a body kick. Adesanya with a right hook that hurts Whittaker and then lands a head kick. They trade in close range. Adesanya rips a combo to the body. Whittaker with a combo. Whittaker with a left hook. They trade in close and Whittaker with a head kick. They trade in close. Adesanya then drops Whittaker with a left hand and jumps on him for the finish and it is stopped! Adesanya has knocked out Whittaker in the second round to become the undisputed champion.
Official Result- Israel Adesanya def. Robert Whittaker by knockout (punches) at 3:33 of Round 2 to win the UFC Middleweight Championship