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Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya to Headline UFC 243 Card in Melbourne

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 05:  Israel Adesanya poses on the red carpet prior to the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony inside The Pearl at The Palms Casino Resort on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya are set to headline UFC 243 in Australia, Melbourne's Marvel Stadium announced Tuesday.

Marvel Stadium @marvelstadiumau

🚨 EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: @ufc 243: @robwhittakermma vs @stylebender 🚨 The Octagon® makes its historic return to Marvel Stadium on Sunday October 6, 2019! Everything you need to know so far: https://t.co/29lqZFzpdA https://t.co/2kG7rvEZs1

The UFC will be holding its second event in Australia in 2019. Adesanya fought Anderson Silva at Rod Laver Arena in February, winning via unanimous decision.

The New Zealander is the interim UFC middleweight champion after defeating Kelvin Gastelum via unanimous decision at UFC 236.

"This is the perfect fight at the perfect time with the two best athletes in the division," UFC President Dana White said. "I am pumped to go back to Melbourne for this massive event. To have two champions in Whittaker and Adesanya fighting for the title on home turf is huge. This will be the biggest fight in Australian history."

Marvel Stadium has a capacity of more than 50,000, giving the event the massive appeal White wanted for the middleweight showcase.

Whittaker, who was born in New Zealand and resides in Australia, has not fought since a split-decision win over Yoel Romero at UFC 225. He missed a chunk of time after undergoing surgery for an abdominal hernia and a twisted and collapsed bowel, which caused him to pull out of a scheduled bout against Gastelum at UFC 236.

Marvel Stadium famously was the host of Holly Holm's shocking win over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. It was the second-to-last fight of Rousey's career. 

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