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Elsalvajeloco

UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya (10/5/2019) - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Marvel Stadium)

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UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya 
October 5, 2019
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Marvel Stadium)

UFC Middleweight Championship: Robert Whittaker © (185) vs. Israel Adesanya (184) (first defense) - Adesanya, KO (punch), R2 (3:33)
Al Iaquinta (155) vs. Dan Hooker (155) - Hooker, DEC (unanimous)
Tai Tuivasa (264) vs. Sergey Spivak (233) -  Spivak, SUB (arm triangle choke), R2 (3:14)
Luke Jumeau (171) vs. Dhiego Lima (171) - Lima, DEC (split)
Justin Tafa (265) vs. Yorgan De Castro (265) - De Castro, KO (punch), R1 (2:10)

ESPN2 Preliminary Card:
Jake Matthews (171) vs. Rostem Akman (171) - Matthews, DEC (unanimous)
Callan Potter (171) vs. Maki Pitolo (170) - Potter, DEC (unanimous)
Jamie Mullarkey (156) vs. Brad Riddell (156) - Riddell, DEC (unanimous)
Megan Anderson (146) vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos (146) - Anderson, SUB (triangle choke), R1 (3:57)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Nadia Kassem (126) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (128)** - Yeon, TKO (strikes), R2 (4:59)
Khalid Taha (137)* vs. Bruno Silva (136) - Taha, SUB (arm triangle choke), R3 (3:00)

*Forfeits 20% of purse for missing weight
**Forfeits 20% of purse for missing weight

Event Bonuses ($50,000)
Performance of the Night: Yorgan De Castro
Performance of the Night: Israel Adesanya
Fight of the Night: Jamie Mullarkey vs. Brad Riddell
 
Attendance: 57,127
Gate: $5.48 million
Buyrate

Cancelled Fights
Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington - Injury to Holm (Torn Hamstring)

 

Edited by Elsalvajeloco

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Tai is coming off of two losses, so it will be interesting to see if he learned anything from those defeats. 

There is no shame in losing to JDS even though some thing the stoppage was premature (I don't), but Ivanov solved Tai's offensive riddle with relative ease.  Dude had no answers to Ivanov's ground game.

Here's hoping that Big Tai has shored up the holes in his takedown defense in the interim.

I like both Whittaker and Adesanya, but I will probably pull for the Stylebender to take this one. 

Bobby was on a fucking roll right before that emergency hernia surgery, but is Israel really the first guy you want to be in the cage against in your first fight back following a 8 month recovery after having abdominal surgery? 

I guess you do what is required of you when you're in the pro fight game and there is a title that needs re-unification.

I'm kinda glad Rocky has the night off.  She won a split against Irene Aldana after dropping a UD to de Randamie and getting mauled by Amanda Nunes in the fight before that one. 

I think she could stand some extra time to heal up and train a bit more even though most extended layoffs are usually detrimental (see also:  Bobby Whittaker)..

Edited by J.T.

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Sort of a very top heavy card now that it's lost Pennington/Holm. The undercard looks like slim pickings, cab drivers and regional talent.

Don't get me wrong, outstanding main event, but it something happens to Whittaker again, they are screwed. Hooker vs. Iaquinta is a fun fight, but it can't serve as a replacement main event.

Edited by TheVileOne

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1 minute ago, J.T. said:

Tai is coming off of two losses, so it will be interesting to see if he learned anything from those defeats. 

There is no shame in losing to JDS even though some thing the stoppage was premature (I don't), but Ivanov solved Tai's offensive riddle with relative ease.  Dude had no answers to Ivanov's ground game.

Here's hoping that Big Tai has shored up the holes in his takedown defense in the interim.

Based on how easy it looked and the actual duration it took Walt Harris to get Spivak out of there, Tuivasa can be the same ole guy and get this guy out of here in a jiffy. That's sorta the problem. He's basically Samoan Roy Nelson and that's what I worried about from the beginning. The shoey stuff is fun until you realize he is just a slightly above average heavyweight. Then when he slips to becoming just an average heavyweight, he will be promptly shipped off to Bellator or PFL to do his gimmick there. It's good from an entertainment standpoint that they give him jobbers to massacre like Spivak, but the inherent problem is he won't learn anything from it. Worst case scenario, he manages to somehow lose this fight. It's happened before especially at heavyweight. That's how a guy like Anthony Hamilton (the fighter, not the R&B singer sadly) stay in the UFC longer than they should. People like Ruan Potts or Damian Grabowski get exposed and lose to them in like 15 seconds and keep them employed in the UFC. That's the ebb and flow of stuff like this as it relates to matchmaking or trying to make stars. It's something that both the UFC and Bellator are guilty of. You (as a matchmaker) hope some guys who people perceived to be entertaining or have personality can somehow bullshit their way to getting a title shot or in main events on a regular basis. However, the sport is real and you can't control the outcomes. If someone has a shitty, boring fight but wins along the way, it is what it is. Look better the next time. If they lose to some guy in the attempt to bullshit their way to the top, you gotta figure out what to do what the OTHER guy now in addition to cleaning up the mess you just made with the guy you had plans for. That's why IMO you cannot fuck around and just have dozens of these guys on your roster to experiment with just hoping to hit the lottery. The UFC fortunately can get away with SOME of it because they have enough top fighters where they can hedge their bets and actually put these guys against each other. The risk is more worth it. Either way, you can score some type of victory. If you're one of these other companies, no one wants to see a guy who has been majorly exposed main event a card against someone who he might or might not beat. That is unless the matchup makes sense, can serve some type of ancillary purpose, or dare I say, be a fun/exciting fight. Therefore, I have no real complaints about Tuivasa getting someone he can squash but again, know he is not going to learn anything from this. He is going to pummel this guy into oblivion. The people who pack the stadium will go crazy. He will cut a funny promo and do his shoey celebration. Ok, what next? Do you want him to go challenge a Stipe or Ngannou at some point or is he just the intermission/mini halftime show for real fights everytime he is on the card?

31 minutes ago, J.T. said:

I like both Whittaker and Adesanya, but I will probably pull for the Stylebender to take this one.

If Adesanya flexes on Whittaker, I can't say I wouldn't have seen it coming. However, I get pre UFC 128 vibes before fights like this where I feel like a champion might be disrespected unless it's something like Namajunas/Andrade and then Andrade/Zhang. With the latter, I feel like the sheer parity of the division at the very top sways me from fight to fight. If there is no one who I feel is that motherfucker, that bad boy might switch hands like the WCW title in 99 and 2000. I feel like Whittaker with only two fights with Romero showed he can take some punishment and keep going. Eventually, that will not be able to happen. The thing is the Gastelum fight in Atlanta earlier this year let me know Adesanya ain't no fraud. He has grown since the time Alex Pereira turned his lights out in that kickboxing match. This isn't like an MVP-Douglas Lima thing where something you inevitably see makes you go, "OHH! If you hit this guy on the side of the face and jaw, he will flop on the canvas like a dying fish out of water and be rendered unconscious." Adesanya is not a shrinking violet. Whittaker can't just be a sitting duck for him and wait for an opportunity to present itself. That's why any pick I make whether it's in my head or my picks contest on the board or wherever will have basically very little confidence behind it. I have NO CLUE what will happen on Saturday night. I'm ready for any outcome though.

42 minutes ago, J.T. said:

I'm kinda glad Rocky has the night off.  She won a split against Irene Aldana after dropping a UD to de Randamie and getting mauled by Amanda Nunes in the fight before that one. 

I think she could stand some extra time to heal up and train a bit more even though most extended layoffs are usually detrimental.

She had that terrible performance against Germaine in between that at the 25th UFC anniversary show headlined by Yair and Korean Zombie. The Aldana fight was slightly better and she got a much, much, much needed win, but fighting Holly Holm again is something I'm not sure why she would take it other than she's not in a position to do anything else. Like even if Holm is past it as a fighter, that first fight in Holly's UFC debut wasn't a barnburner that she was a really, really close to winning. I think that fight was Holly never having a MMA fight (or TBH any fight whether it's boxing or MMA) on that level and the UFC jitters got to her. Years after the fact, it's either going to be another pedestrian fight (and after the Germaine fight last year, frankly, my patience is worn a bit thin with Pennington) or she find a way to get head kicked by a past her prime Holly Holm. Unless pulls off a miracle bulldog choke like she did against Ashlee Evans-Smith, there is a finite amount of ways Pennington can look good especially against Holly Holm of all of people. Holm wants the fight be rescheduled, and it looks like it might actually be rescheduled. At least with Aldana, she was up against an inconsistent fighter who might turn out to be good once she finds her sea legs in the UFC as it goes with consistency. She caught Irene on the right night. If I was Raquel Pennington, I'm looking for out and out jobbers who are on the fringes of being cut or finding another prospect like Aldana who is maybe a year or two removed from becoming a good fighter. Against a Germaine de Randamie or Holly Holm, she cannot win because in the time she has spent training exclusively with Tecia Torres since they came together, both of them have declined (with the obviously more talented Torres, I would say steeply) as fighters. Pennington's record is not at all deceptive. With plenty of people, their records probably are. That's why I get on people for going on Sherdog or Tapology and viewing records with zero context. Raquel Pennington's record is exactly what you think it is. Fightfinder the night away if we're discussing her IMO. She is a very tough, just slightly above .500 fighter. But hey, she is the same person who didn't want her corner to stop the fight (and we're talking after the fact too) when Amanda Nunes was making her into a fine paste in Brazil. If you want to get tagged for 15 minutes and then just stare blankly at Germaine de Randamie expecting her not to hit you or just clinch desperately against the cage, be my guest. I feel the same way if you want another loss to Holly Holm. A lot of fighters just have no innate skill and intellect when it comes to overall career management. Hence, why you need real managers in MMA. You need to hire people to cover for that.

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39 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

Sort of a very top heavy card now that it's lost Pennington/Holm. The undercard looks like slim pickings, cab drivers and regional talent.

Don't get me wrong, outstanding main event, but it something happens to Whittaker again, they are screwed. Hooker vs. Iaquinta is a fun fight, but it can't serve as a replacement main event.

I gotta believe that Paulo Costa will be there as a backup like Volkanovski weighed in the day of the UFC 240 weigh ins and others have done in the recent past. If not, that's pretty ballsy to go without a backup for a huge stadium show.

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They should definitely be paying Paulo Costa to make weight this weekend to play backup.

Paying another fighter to be main event ready for the major events should just be a regular practice at this point. 

Edited by TheVileOne
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7 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

They should definitely be paying Paulo Costa to make weight this weekend to play backup.

Paying another fighter to be main event ready for the major events should just be a regular practice at this point. 

Part of the problem is getting people to agree to take a short notice fight. You may pony up some money for a replacement, but what do you think is happening on the other end? For title fights like this where the undercard is tailored heavily towards the local market and not depth, it definitely makes sense because you don't want Flair vs. Steamboat at the Superdome in 89 with 5,000 people in a giant ass stadium. However, I honestly can understand if the UFC doesn't want two people sticking them up. But then again, they have money to play around with. They can save fights if they want to.

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Better to have it and not need it then to scramble after Tony Ferguson slips on a wire for wearing sunglasses in a studio and tears a ligament in his knee

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3 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

Better to have it and not need it then to scramble after Tony Ferguson slips on a wire for wearing sunglasses in a studio and tears a ligament in his knee

I think they make the conscious decision to do that, but if you book countless shows where you need certain fighters to fill it up or you have certain guys who need plenty of time to be on weight, that can a giant hassle. UFC 243 as a card looks like this partly because of Australia and partly because the UFC is loading up on other cards. Paulo Costa is a big motherfucker. He might not be motivated to make 205 let alone 185 if he isn't guaranteed to fight for a belt or at least an interim belt probably right then. Someone like Volkanovski will be there in a heartbeat. He don't give a fuck. Other fighters, you can't make that assumption with as much you might like to. Plus, the whole getting medicals and visas done and all that. Commissions can be a bitch to deal with in that respect. 

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2 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

If Adesanya flexes on Whittaker, I can't say I wouldn't have seen it coming. However, I get pre UFC 128 vibes before fights like this where I feel like a champion might be disrespected unless it's something like Namajunas/Andrade and then Andrade/Zhang. 

This is true.  I never underestimate the fighter that has a chip on his shoulder and if that version of Bobby Whittaker shows up, it's going to be an interesting fight.

That being said, Adesanya is such an unorthodox and frustrating fighter.  Whittaker will need a bit of that murderous intent that the chip will provide along with the fight IQ it will take to make the necessary adjustments to cope with Adesanya's baffling footwork and multidimensional attack if he wants to remain champion.

I suspect we'll see Israel utilize those trademark head feints and shoulder slaps to set up the body hooks he used to kill Rob Wilkinson and test Bobby's gut to see how well he's recovered.

Edited by J.T.
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So Jon Jones is cutting promos on Adesanya now on Twitter because Israel apparently said he wanted to fight Jon in 2021. To be fair, the last guy who got infatuated with fighting Jon Jones before fighting someone else, he got his decapitated by Jan Blachowicz.

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Does Whittaker look bigger than usual? He looks like he's built out of bricks.

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59 minutes ago, jaedmc said:

Does Whittaker look bigger than usual? He looks like he's built out of bricks.

I don't think it's anymore than usual. I think it's more he hasn't had to do his final cut yet. With this one, he might have come into fight week a little heavier.

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i like the optics of new belt vs old belt.

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