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UFC 243 live blog: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya

Robert Whittaker faces off with Israel Adesanya ahead of their middleweight championship unification main event bout Saturday at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 243 live blog for Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya, a middleweight championship unification bout at Saturday’s UFC event at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

Whittaker, the undisputed champion who has won nine straight fights, faces Adesanya, the interim champion who is 17-0 in pro MMA, in the main event.

Check out the UFC 243 live blog below.

Round 1: The third man in the cage for this middleweight championship unification bout is Marc Goddard. Whittaker rushes in first, landing a couple of jabs. He’s coming out hot. Adesanya working to defend low kicks. Straight punch by Whittaker connects, he is looking for a knockout early. Adesanya looking to counter and he gets a hook as Whittaker charges forward. Whittaker looking for an overhand right, partially deflected. Calf kick to Adesanya’s rear leg. Quick left hook by Adesanya, then a jab to the body. We’ve got an eye poke and Goddard allows a pause in the action, but Adesanya says he’s okay and they’re back at it shortly. Whittaker really lunging forward, he’s backing Adesanya up with short punches inside and mixing in low kicks. Head kicks by Adesanya are blocked. Whittaker still throwing that right hand with mean intentions. Counter kick to the body by Whittaker. Right hook lands for Adesanya. It looks like there’s a slight advantage for Whittaker, but he eats a counter right just before the buzzer and the knockdown should make the opening score go in Adesanya’s favor.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Adesanya.

Round 2: Whittaker not changing his strategy, he is lunging in and throwing that right hand. Stiff jab by Whittaker, then a 1-1-2. Adesanya still looking to counter. Calf kick by Adesanya to Whittaker’s lead leg. The interim champ doing a great job of slipping punches and rolling his shoulder to defend. Whittaker takes a counter left. Adesanya venturing forth with his jab now. That right hook counter catches Whittaker gain. Head kick partially blocked, but Adesanya uses it to press forward. He’s cranking up the volume now and rips Whittaker to the body. Good response from the champ as he fires back with another combination, though he can’t land clean. Left hook scores for Whittaker. High kick by Whittaker appears to land, Adesanya shakes him off. Straight right by Adesanya, then he slips out. A counter left blasts Whittaker now and he falls. Follow-up punches by Adesanya and this one is over.

Official result: Israel Adesanya def. Robert Whittaker via TKO (punches) at 3:33 of round two

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