Robert Whittaker will defend his undisputed middleweight title against Israel Adesanya on October 5, and it will be in Melbourne, Australia.
The UFC had previously not announced a venue for the contest, with it being believed Las Vegas was still a possibility, but earlier today news broke (first by outlet Combate) that a 60,000 seat stadium had been booked and despite concerns the fight would clash with the National Rugby League final, it’s going ahead Down Under.
It marks Whittaker’s first return to action since his win over Yoel Romero in 2018. He’d been booked to return earlier this year against Kelvin Gastelum, but a freak intestinal problem hit him the day of the fight and he was rushed into emergency surgery.
For Adesanya, it’s the culmination of a rapid rise. The 28 year old kickboxer has taken the UFC by storm since his arrival, and a five round epic with Gastelum earlier this year cemented his spot as a top tier middleweight.
The pair have had an interesting rapport in the build up to their contest, with Adesanya taking more verbal shots in Whittaker’s direction than any other opponent in the past — although the champion has yet to seem truly bothered by the jibes.