- Robert Whittaker returns after a year and a half away
- Middleweight title is on the line in the main event
- See the odds for the full main card
The Octagon returns to Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, Oct. 5th, for UFC 243.
In the main event, the middleweight title is on the line as champion, Robert Whittaker looks to defend his title against the interim champion, Israel Adesanya.
The co-main event also sees an intriguing lightweight bout between Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker. The main card airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya Odds
*All Odds Taken 10/02/19
Can Adesanya Stay Unbeaten?
Robert Whittaker (20-4) is coming off of two decision wins over Yoel Romero, which is considered the hardest fight in the division. In the first fight, he won the interim title and later promoted to undisputed.
Since the Australian moved up to middleweight he is 8-0. He also holds notable wins over Jacare Souza, Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, and Uriah Hall.
Israel Adesanya (17-0) has had an incredible rise, he made his UFC debut in February of 2018 and has gone 6-0 since then and is now fighting for the title.
During his run, he beat Kelvin Gastelum for the interim title, as well as beating Anderson Silva, Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, and Marvin Vettori.
Tale of the Tape
|1||UFC title fights (including interim)||1|
To me, this is the best and most interesting main event the UFC has put on this year. It is between two of the best fighters in the world, in their prime, fighting for a title.
This fight, as the odds suggest, is a hard one to call. Israel Adesanya has the hype behind him, and rightfully so. Robert Whittaker has not fought since June of 2018 but assures ring rust won’t be a factor.
In this fight, Adesanya should have the striking advantage given he comes from a kickboxing background.
However, Whittaker himself is a good striker and wrestler. Yet, when I spoke to Whittaker he said the biggest hole in the challengers game is his striking defense. He points to the fact Kelvin Gastelum hit Adesanya a lot and even hurt him. That is a bad sign for Adesanya as the champion is faster and hits harder than Gastelum.
Ultimately, it is a very close fight which I expect it to go the full 25-minutes. But I favor Robert Whittaker to get it done and defend the middleweight title.
Pick: Robert Whittaker (-104)
Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker Odds
Can Iaquinta Return to the Win Column?
Al Iaquinta (14-5-1) is coming off of a disappointing loss to Donald Cerrone at UFC Ottawa back in May. He was favored to get it done but was dominated for 25-minutes.
Before that, he had a huge win over Kevin Lee, for the second time in his career, at UFC Milwaukee, and also fought Khabib Nurmagomedov for the title at UFC 223 and went five rounds with the Dagestani lightweight champion.
In his career, he also has notable wins over Diego Sanchez, Jorge Masvidal, Joe Lauzon, and Ross Pearson.
Dan Hooker (18-8) returned to the win column in a big way against James Vick at UFC San Antonio in July as he knocked him out cold. The fight before was beatdown against Edson Barboza and ended up losing by TKO. The Kiwi has notable wins over Gilbert Burns, Jim Miller, Marc Diakese, and Ross Pearson.
Tale of the Tape
|May 2019||Last Fight||July 2019|
This is a fight that I am quite surprised by the odds. I really like Iaquinta in this fight and think he will grind out a decision win here.
In the fight before the Vick win, Dan Hooker was beatdown, with some fans and media saying it was the worst beatdown in UFC history. For nearly 15 minutes he could not get anything going and was dropped several times.
In this fight, although I don’t think Iaquinta can do that, I think his striking is better as well as his wrestling which will lead him to a win.
Pick: Al Iaquinta (+143)
UFC 243 Main Card Odds
Here are the odds for the remaining fights on the card.
Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergey Spivak Odds
Luke Jumeau vs. Dhiego Lima Odds
Justin Tafa vs. Yorgan De Castro Odds
|Yorgan De Castro||+100|
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