The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) which is an American mixed martial arts promotion company confirmed the biggest MMA fight in Australia and New Zealand's history between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya. The event named UFC 243 will be held on the Saturday of October 5, 2019, at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne and will see Whittaker fighting to defend his middleweight belt against Israel Adesanya. Marvel Stadium which has a 60,000 seat capacity is known for hosting big events such as the 2015 UFC 193 bantamweight title defense between Ronda Rousey's and Holly Holm where Holm claimed the title by defeating Rousey after earning a second-round knockout.
Born on December 20 1990 in Australia, Whittaker is a professional MMA in Australia who has won twenty out of twenty-four MMA competitions. At the age of seven, his father enrolled him in Goju-Ryu Karate school for self-defence skills where he earned his black belt before moving to Hapkido gym. Later, Whittaker converted his gym into an MMA gym and started training until he became a professional MMA fighter.
He began participating in MMA as a profession in 2008 when he signed with renowned Australia's Xtreme Fighting Championships. Whittaker made his debut on March 14, 2009, against Chris Tallowin where he won in the first round through a technical knockout.
He is the current middleweight belt champion. However, since Georges St-Pierre handed over the title in 2017, Whittaker hasn’t defended the title. In 2018 during the UFC 225, Robert Whittaker beat Yoel Romero but it was not considered as a title defense because Romero missed ‘Soldier of God’ weight. Whittaker has broken the record of the longest-reigning champion without defending the title after Conor McGregor, the lightweight and ex-featherweight champion.
Born on July 22 1989 in Lagos Nigeria, Adesanya is a professional MMA and kickboxer who competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He started training taekwondo till at the age of 13 after he broke one of his arms. At the age of 18, he started training kickboxing up to the age of 21 when he moved to Auckland, New Zealand where he started training city kickboxing.
In 2012, Adesanya made his first debut fighting in Hong Kong, Australia and China where he managed a record of 11-0 through knockouts (KO) and technical knockouts (TKO).In December 2017, Adesanya signed with the UFC, making his debut on February 11 2018 against Rob Wilkinson where he won through TKO during the second round. Currently, Adesanya holds a record of seventeen wins out of seventeen MMA competitions.
UFC 243 tickets
On August 16, UFC tickets went on sale to the fans with the UFC president Dana White confirming that over 32,000 tickets had been sold in a period of six days. The tickets are in ten different categories with different prices as listed below:
Ticket category Price (in Australian dollars)
P1 – AU$495
P2 – AU$395
P3 – AU$275
P4 – AU$195
P5 – AU$175
P6 – AU$150
P7 – AU$135
P8 – AU$95
P9 – AU$85
P10 – AU$65
Tickets can be bought at the UFC official website.