UFC 243 in Tweets
UFC 243 is in the books and the biggest event in Australasian history certainly did not disappoint.
Kicking off the main card was the much anticipated UFC debut of Justin Tafa, who was up against Contender Series alumn Yorgan De Castro. With both men making their promotion debuts, putting on a show was on the top of their lists. Tafa landed a right hand early which got the attention of De Castro, but then as Tafa ran forward with his chin up in the air, De Castro landed an almighty overhand right which put Tafa’s lights out.
Next up was a pair of Welterweight’s, as Luke Jumeau squared off against Dhiego Lima. Both fighters were coming off wins in their last fights and were looking to make a statement in front of the 57,000 fans inside the Marvel Stadium. In a fight which lacked much action, it was Lima who landed a calf kick which in the second round grounded Jumeau who never seemed to show a desire to really put it on Lima. It was clear that Dhiego Lima had the better of the 15 minutes, but one judge scored the fight for Jumeau which made sure Lima edged out a split decision victory to silence the crowd.
Heavyweights were on deck next as home favourite Tai Tuivasa went up against the Moldovan Sergey Spivak. It was striker vs. grappler, as Tai was looking for that one punch that would end the fight and snap the losing streak. One punch did land but it didn’t seem to bother Spivak too much. As the second round started, Sergey continued to look for the takedown and managed to get it with relative ease. While in full mount, Spivak sunk in an arm triangle choke and Tuivasa moved away from the cage to allow him to step over and complete the submission with Tai going to sleep.
The co-main event was next up as Al Iaquinta fought Dan Hooker at lightweight. With Al ranked at 6 and Dan down at 15, this was a big chance for the Kiwi to make a charge towards the top 5 and a chance at the Lightweight title currently held by Khabib Nurmagomedov. Hooker was looking for a breakout performance and he delivered exactly that.
From the first horn, Hooker’s height was causing problems for Iaquinta and the low leg kicks were forcing Al to have trouble moving as well as he’d like. In the second, Al moved in to land but Hooker caught him and dropped Iaquinta who recovered quickly. As the third round went on, the face of Iaquinta was crimson red and he really struggled to land anything. Hooker saw out the round and fight on top as he was for the 15 minutes. After earning the win at home, he used his time on the microphone to call out former title challenger Dustin Poirier for a bout in 2020.
The main event was then finally upon us as the world stood still to watch one the biggest fights in UFC history. While Adesanya danced his way to the octagon, Whittaker was the opposite, as calm and composed as you could imagine. After two amazing entrances and the classic introduction from Bruce Buffer, the world was ready…
Whittaker started quicker and with every shot was looking to finish the fight, whereas Adesanya was taking his time to figure out the moving patterns of the champion. As the round was coming to an end and Whittaker was en route to taking a 10-9 lead, Adesanya landed a counter right that dropped Whittaker, but the bell saved the champion and Israel stole the first round. After a dramatic end to the first, it was Adesanya who remained on top and was landing counter shots at will and affecting Whittaker. As ‘Bobby Knuckles’ lunged forward, he was once again countered by 2 perfect punches but this time there was no horn to save him. Referee Marc Goddard stepped in to stop the fight and crown Israel Adesanya as the new undisputed Middleweight champion and set up a potential future bout with Paulo Costa.
Check out the reaction to the night of action at The Marvel Arena.
Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) October 6, 2019
— Chris Camozzi (@ChrisCamozzi) October 6, 2019
Dan Hooker vs Al Iaquinta
Whaaaaaatttttt? He wants Dustin! I dig that fight let’s do it. Hooker vs Poirier 2020. #UFC243
— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) October 6, 2019
Sergey Spivak vs Tai Tuivasa
Bad performance by Tuivasa against someone tailor-made for his skill set
— Jimmy Smith (@jimmysmithmma) October 6, 2019
Dhiego Lima vs Luke Jumeau
— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) October 6, 2019
Yorgan De Castro vs Justin Tafa
HUGE KO & that walk off 👀
— Jon SuperSaiyan Tuck (@JonCruzTuck) October 6, 2019
Check out the full main card results below
Israel Adesanya bt Robert Whittaker via KO (punches) Round 2- 3:33
Dan Hooker bt Al Iaquinta via Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Sergey Spivak bt Tai Tuivasa via Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) Round 2- 3:14
Dhiego Lima bt Luke Jumeau via Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Yorgan De Castro bt Justin Tafa via KO (punch) Round 1- 2:10
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