The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Melbourne, Australia, with UFC 243 on Saturday, with a card for the home crowd capped by a thrilling headliner.
In the main event, middleweight king Robert Whittaker (185) prepares to take on unbeaten interim champ Israel Adesanya (184) to unify the middleweight straps. Whittaker won the belt in 2017 against Yoel Romero, and went on to beat Romero in a rematch in a non-title affair after Romero missed weight. Undefeated as a professional, Adesanya has stormed his way through the UFC in six appearances, most recently capturing a decision over Kelvin Gastelum in a sure-fire "Fight of the Year" candidate at UFC 236 in April. The co-headliner event sees a potential all-action lightweight scrap as "Raging" Al Iaquinta (155) faces New Zealand's Dan Hooker (155).
UFC 243 airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT from the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The card also features a heavyweight tilt between proud Aussie Tai Tuivasa (264) and pure finisher Sergey Spivak (233). In the welterweight division, City Kickboxing standout Luke Jumeau (171) collides with two-time "The Ultimate Fighter" finalist Dhiego Lima (171). Kicking off the main card is a heavyweight slugfest between two debutants with unblemished records, as recent Dana White's Contender Series signee Yorgan De Castro (265) faces Australian knockout artist Justin Tafa (265).
Two fighters came in heavy: Ji Yeon Kim (128)*, who came in two pounds over the flyweight limit, and she been fined 30 percent of her purse. Also, Khalid Taha (137)** weighed in one pound heavy for his bantamweight contest, and he has been fined 20 percent of his purse.
UFC 243 Weigh-in Results:Robert Whittaker (185) vs. Israel Adesanya (184)
Al Iaquinta (155) vs Dan Hooker (155)
Tai Tuivasa (264) vs. Sergey Spivak (233)
Luke Jumeau (171) vs. Dhiego Lima (171)
Justin Tafa (265) vs. Yorgan De Castro (265)
Jake Matthews (171) vs. Rostem Akman (171)
Callan Potter (171) vs. Maki Pitolo (170)
Brad Riddell (156) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (156)
Megan Anderson (146) vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos (146)
Nadia Kassem (126) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (128)*
Khalid Taha (137)** vs. Bruno Silva (136)
* Kim missed weight by two pounds, and she has been fined 30 percent of her purse.
** Taha missed weight by one pound, and he has been fined 20 percent of his purse.