UFC 243 Preview: Whittaker vs Adesanya
By Bryan Perkins
UFC 243 is upon us this weekend and as we have been drawing nearer to the event there has been a lot of hype surrounding the main event between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya who go head to head for the middleweight title.
Despite the hype for the main event, on social media there has been a narrative pushed that this is a weak card and whilst I agree the card doesn’t have many household names there are a few fights people should make sure to tune in for.
The co-main event between Al Iaquinta and Dan Hooker is undoubtedly going to be a contender for fight of the night, however, if it turns out to be the brutal brawl it has the potential to be then it could be a contender for fight of the year.
Both of these fighters have unbelievable durability and heart which will most likely see them go the distance. Dan Hooker has only been knocked out once in 26 professional fights against the dangerous Edson Barboza, but even this fight was a remarkable display of his toughness as he continued to march forward after eating every shot thrown at him.
It was only in the final round of the fight that he finally succumbed after several body shots. Similarly, Al Iaquinta has shown his toughness on multiple occasions, especially his title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Throughout the title fight, Iaquinta was being dominated by Khabib and more than once it looked like Khabib was going to get a submission victory but Iaquinta refused to quit and eventually lost on decision. This never die attitude that both fighters have partnered with their insane cardio and versatility is surely going to see them throwing everything at each other for three rounds.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I would not recommend putting a bet on Tai Tuivasa and Sergey Spivak going the distance. Tuivasa rightfully has a reputation as a knockout artist, out of his 8 professional wins 7 are from 1st round knockouts with one win going the distance. In Tuivasa’s second UFC bought against Cyril Asker he displayed his striking abilities whilst also showing he can be quite reckless as he came out throwing bombs from the moment the bell rang.
After two losses in a row he is likely to come out on Saturday night with a point to prove so I am expecting a quick start from the Australian.
Sergey Spivak has never been to a decision in his 10 professional fights and has only been past the 1st round once. He has 9 wins with 4 coming by knockout and 5 by submission. In his only UFC fight he was knocked out in the first round by Walt Harris. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try and take this fight to the ground but one thing is for sure wherever the fight takes place he is going to be looking for the finish as he tries to bounce back from his first loss as a professional fighter.
These are two fighters with track records of finishing fights and they are both coming off of losses, I fully expect this fight to be fireworks- for as long as it lasts.
The final fight of the night I think you should be keeping an eye on is between Justin Tafa and Yorgan De Castro- two fighters I can tell you very little about.
The only details I can tell you is that these two fighters have a combined record of 8-0 meaning neither fighter has ever lost a professional fight. In addition to undefeated records, the fighters have a combined 7 knockouts in 8 fights with Yorgan de Castro having one victory by decision.
When fighters have undefeated records they tend to show a whole lot of recklessness which makes for entertaining fights. Unless there is an unlikely draw one of these two men will walk out of the arena after UFC 243 with their perfect record tarnished, this is definitely a fight to look out for.