Robert Whittaker

For Robert Whittaker, stepping inside the Octagon in Melbourne, Australia has some very mixed feelings.

Earlier this year, Whittaker was scheduled to defend his UFC middleweight title at UFC 234 against top contender Kelvin Gastelum from Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. However, a hernia and twisted and collapsed bowel forced him out just hours before the event was to start.

Now, Whittaker returns to Melbourne, but this time it is Marvel Stadium as he will take on interim champion Israel Adesanya. The two headline UFC 243 on Saturday night for the undisputed title.

Related: UFC Champion Robert Whittaker Was Just Tired Of It All

Whittaker does have better moments from Melbourne, including a 2016 first round finish via head-kick over Derek Brunson.

UFC Fight Replay: Robert Whittaker Vs. Derek Brunson

He also downed Uriah Hall in 2015 in Melbourne and owns UFC victories over Brad Scott to become The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes winner, Brad Tavares and Clint Hester in the country.

The 28-year-old from South Auckland, New Zealand will be looking to make another splash in front of his fans when he takes on the unbeaten Adesanya.

UFC 243 Fight Card

MAIN CARD (ESPN+ Pay-Per-View)

UFC Middleweight Championship
Robert Whittaker (c) vs. Israel Adesanya (ic)

Lightweight: Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker

Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa vs. Serghei Spivak

Welterweight: Luke Jumeau vs. Dhiego Lima

Female Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington


Welterweight: Jake Matthews vs. Rostem Akman

Heavyweight: Justin Tafa vs. Yorgan De Castro

Welterweight: Callan Potter vs. Maki Pitolo

Female Featherweight: Megan Anderson vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos


Lightweight: Jamie Mullarkey vs. Brad Riddell

Female Flyweight: Nadia Kassem vs. Ji Yeon Kim

Bantamweight: Khalid Taha vs. Bruno Silva

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