UFC 243 Predictions
It is a highly-anticipated UFC Middleweight Championship bout tonight to main event UFC 243 in Australia. Here’s a couple of picks to consider in the main bouts.
UFC 243 will be held from Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The main card for the event will begin at 10PM ET and air live on PPV as part of ESPN+.
24101 Israel Adesanya vs. 24102 Robert Whittaker
The main event tonight is for the UFC Middleweight championship as champ Robert Whittaker (20-4) defends his title against undefeated challenger Israel Adesanya (17-0). According to the latest oddsmakers, Adesanya is the slight favorite to win, as he is listed with odds of -115 to stay unbeaten. Whittaker is listed with a money line of -105 to retain his championship. Whittaker is fighting in his home country, but he has been off for 15 months due to injury. His last fight was a five-round split decision with Yoel Romero. Whittaker hasn’t lost since 2014. Adesanya has fought twice in 2019 already, earning decision wins over Anderson Silva and Kelvin Gastelum. He is a lot like Silva, as his striking could be some of the best in the UFC. He has tremendous speed, but also shows a lot of patience. Whittaker is a well-rounded fighter with a lot of strength. If he can get Adesanya to the ground, he will likely be just fine. The big question is, can Whittaker push a strong pace after being away so long. With this fight being in his home country, I am going to put my money on him. He has all the tools and knows how to avoid the big strike from his opponent. I am not sure Adesanya can push a strong pace for five rounds. I look for him to tire late and open the door for Whittaker to grind him out with grappling and a submission. UFC 243 Prediction: Robert Whittaker -105
24105 Dan Hooker vs. 24106 Al Iaquinta
The co-main event tonight is a lightweight bout between Al Iaquinta (14-5) against Dan Hooker (18-8). Oddsmakers are listing Hooker as the favorite, as he is getting odds of -140 to win. Iaquinta is listed with a money line of +120 to prevail. Iaquinta is a fan favorite for his aggressive style and attitude. It doesn’t always lead to wins, but he has been a tough out for the likes of Donald Cerrone and Khabib Nurmagomedov. He is coming off a decision loss to Cerrone and has lost two of his last three. Hooker will be fighting in his home country and is coming off a first-round KO of James Vick in July. His last three victories have been first-round KO’s. That is impressive, but I don’t know that he has what it takes to win without that big KO. The last three fights that have gone the distance for him, he has lost. Iaquinta is a grinder and has been in deeper waters than Hooker. I think that will make the difference tonight. UFC 243 Prediction: Al Iaquinta +120