Melbourne, Australia is the place to be tonight as the UFC Middleweight Championship is set to be unified as Interim Champion Israel Adesanya attempts to stay undefeated when he steps in the octagon against the truly battle-tested reigning UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker in the night’s five-round main event. Adesanya 6-0 (17-0 overall) inside the octagon is thought of by many to be the real deal and destined to win tonight. I feel that many are discounting the toughness and experience of Whittaker who is 11-2 (20-4 overall) in the UFC.
Al Iaquinta vs Dan Hooker sits in the co-main event slot and should be one hell of a fight between two men looking to solidify their place in the rankings and possible title contention. Iaquinta who has danced with the reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov for 5 rounds in a losing effort, and has beaten the likes of Kevin Lee and Jorge Masvidal is not an easy out. Hooker who has 4 finishes (3 KO/TKO 1 submission) in his last 4 wins will be looking to end the night early with precision power strikes and won’t be afraid to take this fight to the ground.
I added my picks to this article on the fight pics below, my picks are signified with yellow dots.
Bruno Silva vs Khalid Tala (Bantamweights)
- Round 1 – Taha 10 Silva 8 ( I deducted a point for two groin shots)
- Round 2 – Taha 09 Silva 10
- Round 3 – Taha sinks in the arm triangle to secure the submission victory at 3;00 of the round.
Nadia Kasim vs Ji Yeon Kim ( Women’s Flyweight)
- Round 1 – Kim 10 Kasim 09
- Round 2 – Kim gets the win via KO/TKO at 4:59 of the round.
Early Prelims ESPN 2
Megan Anderson vs Zarah Fairn Dos Santos (Women’s Featherweight)
- Round 1 – Anderson gets the win via submission via triangle choke at 3:57 of the round.
Brad Riddell vs Jamie Mullarkey ( Lightweight)
- Round 1 – Riddell 10 Mullarkey 9
- Round 2 – Riddell 10 Mullarkey 9
- Round 3 – Riddell 10 Mullarkey 9
- My Score: Riddell 30 Mullarkey 27
- Judges: 29-27, 30-26, 30-26 Brad Riddell
Maki Pitolo vs Callan Potter ( Welterweight )
- Round 1 – Pitolo 10 Potter 9
- Round 2 – Pitolo 10 Potter 9
- Round 3 – Pitolo 09 Potter 10
- My Score: Pitolo 29 Potter 28
- Judges: 29-28 x 3 Callen Potter UD
Rostem Akman vs Jake Matthews (Welterweight)
- Round 1 – Akman 09 Matthews 10
- Round 2 – Akman 09 Matthews 10
- Round 3 – Akman 09 Matthews 10
- My Score: Akman 27 Matthews 30
- Judges: 30-27 x 3 Jake Matthews
Main Card: ESPN PPV
Yorgan De Castro vs Justin Tafa (Heavyweights )
- Round 1 – De Castro One punch KO (OUT COLD) at 2:10 of round 1
Luke Jumeau vs Dhiego Lima ( Welterweight )
- Round 1 – Jumeau 09 Lima 10
- Round 2 – Jumeau 09 Lima 10
- Round 3 – Jumeau 09 Lima 10
- My Score: Jumeau 27 Lima 30
- Judges: 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 Lima gets the win via Split Decision. How a judge gave any round to Jumeau is absolutely baffling to me. Lima won all three rounds without question.
Serghei Spivak vs Tai Tuivasa ( Heavyweights )
- Round 1 – Spivak 10 Tuivasa 9
- Round 2 – Spivak chokes Tai Tuivasa (Arm triangle) and puts him to sleep at 3:14 of the round.
Dan Hooker vs Al iaquinta (Lightweight)
- Round 1 – Hooker 10 Iaquinta 9
- Round 2 – Hooker 10 Iaquinta 9
- Round 3 – Hooker 10 Iaquinta 9
- My Score: Hooker 30 Iaquinta 27
- Judges: 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 Dan Hooker
Israel Adesanya(IC) vs Robert Whittaker(C) (Middleweight Title Unification Bout)
- Round 1 – Adesanya 9 Whittaker 10 although the knockdown at the bell may have influenced the judges to go the other way
- Round 2 – Adesanya KO’s Whittaker at 3:33 of the round to become the Undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion of the World!
Here’s some of the numbers from the UFC:
- Attendance:57,127 (new UFC attendance record)
AU$8,088,661 / US$5,478,345
Adesanya & De Castro
Fight of the night:
Riddell vs. Mullarkey
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.