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Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya official for UFC 243

Robert Whittaker (pictured) will take his middleweight title into a unification bout vs. Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 on Oct. 5
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC 243 has a highly anticipated main event lined up.

On Friday, officials announced that middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (20-4) will meet interim titleholder Israel Adesanya (17-0) in a unification bout in the main event of UFC 243 on Oct. 5.

The bout has been reported as in the works for months, with MMA DNA first marking the Oct. 5 date. Though the exact location and venue were not announced, UFC president Dana White recently said that the plan was for Whittaker and Adesanya to meet in Australia. However, at the UFC summer press conference on Friday, White declined to provide an update on where the matchup will take place.

Both fighters have openly discussed the potential matchup despite the bout not being official until now. Whittaker is of Australian and Maori descent, while Adesanya is a native of Nigeria who currently fights out of New Zealand.

This will be Whittaker’s first fight since last June when he defeated Yoel Romero by five-round split decision at UFC 225 in what was supposed to be his first middleweight title defense. Romero missed weight by .2 pounds, making it a non-title contest.

Regardless, the victory marked Whittaker’s ninth straight. He is undefeated since making the move up to 185 pounds.

Adesanya became interim middleweight champion in April at UFC 236 after winning a five-round thriller against Kelvin Gastelum. “The Last Stylebender” is unbeaten as a pro MMA fighter, including seven UFC appearances.

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