Whittaker vs Adesanya: UFC 243 First Look, Early Preview & Betting Picks


Robert Whittaker vs Israel Adesanya

Saturday, October 5, 11:55 PM at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
Free UFC 243 Pick: Israel Adesanya (+114) with Pinnacle

The Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia is set to break attendance records in its 55,000-capacity sports hosting venue. New Zealand is the neighbouring country to Australia and will send its most fierce combat athlete into hostile territory for the UFC Middleweight title unification bout. Australia’s MMA King ‘Robert Whittaker’ defends his honour, undefeated record and Middleweight title in front of a sell-out venue with an expected record-breaking attendance.

It’s November 2015, UFC 139 would take place at the Marvel Arena with Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm headlining the main card. The event itself brought in a staggering 56,214 fans. Nonetheless, Whittaker vs Adesanya will go down in the history books as the biggest combat event in Australian history and if projections continue…should break the current record for attendance with ease.

October 6th is going to be a historic night and if you haven’t already… then please mark that night off on your calendar and prepare yourself for one of the most anticipated Middleweight bouts of all time.

Robert ‘Bobby Knuckles’ Whittaker

Born in New-Zealand but raised and fighting out of Australia is Robert ‘Bobby Knuckles’ Whittaker. Whittaker is the current UFC Middleweight Champion (undefeated in nine fights). He’s won three ‘performance of the night’ bonuses against Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson & Jacare Souza. ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus four times against Clint Hester, Derek Brunson and Yoel Romero twice. He was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Welterweight tournament and Australia’s first UFC champion. Amongst countless other achievements, the respect Whittaker has earnt in the sport is unambiguous.

A former Australian wrestling champion, if it wasn’t for his UFC commitments then Whittaker could’ve wrestled at a high level if he wanted too. He even turned an opportunity to represent Australia in the Olympics. His love for MMA was more important and in 2012 he made his professional UFC debut in the finale of ‘The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes’, which pitted a group of fighters from the United Kingdom and Australia compete for a contract in the UFC. Whittaker won the tournament and never looked back; the undefeated streak continues to remain active with the UFC Middleweight strap hanging over his shoulder.

Robert Whittaker is a handful of victories away from going down as arguably the greatest UFC Middleweight Champion in our current era. He underwent surgery for an abdominal hernia which has kept him on the sidelines for over a year. He will now come up against the undefeated unorthodox ‘Israel Adesanya’ in a battle between the old school and the new school.

Robert Whittaker Best Priced (-125) with Bookmaker

Israel ‘The Last Style Bender’ Adesanya

Whilst the champ has been side-lined, the man keeping his seat warm is none other than Israel ‘The Last Style Bender’ Adesanya. One of the quickest rises in UFC history, Israel Adesanya secured UFC gold within 1 year,3 months of making his debut for the organization. Incredible accolades achieved by the 30-year-old, who could remain an active fighter for many years to come.

The Nigerian-New Zealander has competed in boxing (5-1), kick-boxing (75-5) and mixed martial arts (17-0) giving him a combined combat record of 97-6. If that’s not a record to fear then I don’t know what is. Just saying those astonishing numbers out loud doesn’t seem realistic but believe me, we’re dealing with solid facts right now. 97 wins and only 6 losses!!!

February 2018 saw Israel make his debut in a UFC octagon and he certainly lived up to the hype. A round-two knockout plus some icing on the cake with a ‘performance of the night’ bonus couldn’t have made a more perfect outcome for the Middleweight debutant. Exactly one year later; Israel Adesanya is fighting Anderson Silva on the main card of UFC 243, A dream even Adesanya didn’t envision happening so quick.

With Whittaker on the side-line, this left the Middleweight division-wide open when Dana White scheduled Israel to take on Kelvin Gastelum for the Interim Middleweight Title. A hard-fought decision victory over Kelvin now puts Israel Adesanya in the biggest fight of his career against Robert Whittaker at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

Israel Adesanya Best Priced @ +115 with Pinnacle

UFC 234 Tips and Betting Prediction

Easily, the toughest fight to predict since Romero vs Costa, I wouldn’t suggest anybody running to the bank in an attempt to cash in on this fight. The odd’s currently sit in favour of Whittaker, which is expected. Although, 55% of the wagers have come in on Adesanya against Whittaker’s 45%.

The elite-level kick-boxing that Adesanya brings to the table will be the upmost test for Whittaker. There haven’t been any fights where Whittaker has given up such a large reach and height advantage against such a technical striker. A hard target to catch, I don’t see Whittaker connecting with many strikes early on. The later the fight goes on is where I’d see more success in Whittaker’s striking offence coming into tuition.

The game-plan for Whittaker should be pressure based. Aiming to get inside the range of Adesanya is paramount when trying to interrupt the flow of ‘The Last Style Bender’. If all else fails for Whittaker in the striking department, he might fall back on his wrestling background. It’s easy to forget how talented Whittaker can be on the ground because his previous two opponents were ultra-high-level ground specialists.

Broken timing has been the perfect tool for Adesanya, we’ll see him step-in moving forward with a strike but then momentarily pause causing his opponent’s reaction to misjudge his movement. The speed, reach and timing of Adesanya makes him the guy to put your money on (in my opinion) but this isn’t a betting tip I give lightly. Half a unit is more than enough to risk on a fight with countless unknowns.

Two fighters from the same region inside a, sold out 55 thousand capacity arena, fighting for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Although tough to make a betting prediction, were certainly going to see a spectacle at UFC 234.

Free UFC 243 Pick: Israel Adesanya (+114) with Pinnacle

UFC 243 Full Fight Card

Main Card

  • Robert Whittaker (champion) vs Israel Adesanya (interim champion)
  • Al Iaquinta vs Dan Hooker (lightweight)
  • Tai Tuivasa vs Sergey Spivak (heavyweight)
  • Luke Jumeau vs Dhiego Lima (welterweight)
  • Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington (bantamweight)

UFC 243 Prelims

  • Jake Matthews vs Rostam Akman (welterweight)
  • Justin Tafa vs Yorgan De Castro (heavyweight)
  • Cal Potter vs Maki Pitolo (welterweight)
  • Megan Anderson vs Zarah Farim Dos Santos (featherweight)

UFC 243 Fight Pass Prelims

  • Brad Riddell vs Jamie Mullarkey (lightweight)
  • Nadia Kassem vs Ji Yeon Kim (flyweight)
  • Khalid Taha vs Bruno Silva (bantamweight)

UFC 243 will take place on October 8th live from The Marvel Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Be sure to revisit our SBR ‘More Sports’ section in the forthcoming weeks for all of your combat sports tips, betting predictions, odds, analysis and predictions.