UFC 243 Saturday night in Melbourne, Australia was a top-heavy card, that finally saw some locals do battle for the company's top prize.
Interim UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya brought his hype and skills to the cage, welcoming back the oft-injured UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker in an effort to unify the titles.
The first round was largely uneventful until the final seconds saw Adesanya flatten Whittaker. The second saw Adesanya bust Whittaker up and start to pepper him with combos. Whittaker himself would find a home for the occasional big strike. It didn't much matter, however, as Adesanya planted a right hand on Whittaker in the second that spelled the end of the bout.
After the fight, Adesanya called out the top contender, Paulo Costa.
#6 Al Iaquinta crossed the ocean to defend his spot against #15 Dan Hooker. Unfortunately for him, the leg kicks of Hooker threw him off his game, leading to a one sided decision in favor of the countryman. After the fight Hooker used his interview to call his shot and challenge former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Dustin Poirier to a fight for 2020. Poirier, however, didn't seem interested.
I'm fighting the Irishman next. You're close but not yet buddy keep punching @danthehangman— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 6, 2019
Dan can fight Cowboy... I'm chilling out until something really excites me. Working on my craft— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 6, 2019
#14 Tai Tuivasa will be falling out of the UFC rankings and heavyweight relevance for now. He mounted almost no offense against the unranked Serghei Spivak, and was repeatedly put on his back. Ultimately, Spivak applied an arm triangle choke en route to gaining a second round submission in enemy territory.
You can see our full UFC 243 coverage at this link, and check out our post-show podcast at this link.