UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya Preview

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC 243: Whittaker vs. Adesanya will air on October 5, 2019, in Melbourne, Australia.

Early Preliminary Card (Fight Pass)

KHALID “THE WARRIOR” TAHA (13-2-0) vs BRUNO “BULLDOG” SILVA (11-3-1)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Taha brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Silva brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Similar style; Taha is more well-rounded with his jiu-jitsu. Silva’s jiu-jitsu is good, but it won’t stand up to Taha’s. Taha will take control of this fight early on and maintain control. Once he exposes Silva he will place him in a sleeper hold and put him out. My prediction: Taha wins via submission in Round 2.

NADIA “187” KASSEM (5-1-0) vs JI YEON “FIRE FIST” KIM (8-2-2)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s flyweight division. Kassem brings boxing, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. Kim brings boxing, Hapkido, Wushu, and jiu-jitsu. Both are well-rounded in every way. Kim has great boxing and so does Kassem, but Kassem is a little better with her attacks. She will throw and defend more and will even land at least one successful takedown. Kim will do the same, but fall too short in the end. My prediction: Kassem wins via split decision.

JAMIE MULLARKEY (12-2-0) vs BRAD “QUAKE” RIDDELL (6-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Mullarkey brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Riddell brings boxing and kickboxing. The jiu-jitsu Mullarkey possesses appears to give him the advantage as Riddell doesn’t have much grappling. Riddell won’t need to use any since his boxing and kickboxing will keep him in control. Mullarkey is not that great of a striker and that is what will cost him. My prediction: Riddell wins via knockout in Round 1.

Preliminary Card (ESPN)

MEGAN ANDERSON (9-4-0) vs ZARAH FAIRN DOS SANTOS (6-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s featherweight division. Anderson brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Dos Santos brings striking and grappling. Both can fight, but dos Santos doesn’t possess any specific skills. Anderson holds Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu, but she will only use her Muay Thai. This will cause damage to dos Santos early on and keep her under major pressure. Dos Santos will try to defend, but only end up being caught by Anderson’s power. My prediction: Anderson wins via knockout in Round 1.

CALLAN “THE ROCKSTAR” POTTER (17-8-0) vs MAKI “COCONUT BOMBZ” PITOLO (12-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Potter brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Pitolo brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Similar techniques; Pitolo executes his attacks better. He will be faster and more accurate than Potter. Potter will be able to land a few blows, but only a few. Pitolo will land many and keep up his attack while Potter grows more exhausted. My prediction: Pitolo wins via unanimous decision.

JUSTIN TAFA (3-0-0) vs YORGAN DE CASTRO (5-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Tafa brings boxing. Castro brings striking and grappling. Castro brings some grappling to try and avoid Tafa’s boxing. However, Tafa is much faster and will be able to defend against any takedowns Castro tries to use on him. By keeping the fight stand Tafa will gain full control and keep a full-on attack. He will attack hard and heavy, which will put Castro away before he knows it. My prediction: Tafa wins via knockout in Round 1.

JAKE “THE CELTIC KID” MATTHEWS (14-4-0) vs ROSTEM AKMAN (6-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Matthews brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Akman brings striking and grappling. The wrestling Matthews brings looks to give him the advantage. However, it is not as elite as it should be and that is how Akman will get by him. Akman will stop many of Matthews takedown and counter with his own. He will be able to control Matthews for a majority of the fight on the ground. That will be enough to give him the points to surpass Matthews. My prediction: Matthews wins via submission in Round 1.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View – ESPN+)

LUKE “THE JEDI” JUMEAU (13-4-0) vs DHIEGO LIMA (14-7-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Jumeau brings kickboxing, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. Lima brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are great with jiu-jitsu; Jumeau is better with all his striking. Lima doesn’t have any set skills in striking, which will cost him. Jumeau will use his kickboxing and taekwondo to hurt Lima and continue to hurt him. Once he becomes weak and vulnerable Jumeau will go in for the kill. My prediction: Jumeau wins via TKO in Round 3.

#14 TAI “BAM BAM” TUIVASA (8-2-0) vs SERGEY “POLAR BEAR” SPIVAK (9-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Tuivasa brings boxing and kickboxing. Spivak brings striking and sambo. The boxing ability of Tuivasa seems like it will give him the advantage. Spivak can take heavy hits and will be throwing his own in return. This will cause Tuivasa to grow exhausted to where Spivak will bring him to the ground. There Spivak will use his sambo to control Tuivasa until the final bell. My prediction: Spivak wins via unanimous decision.

#6 AL “RAGING” IAQUINTA (14-5-1) vs #15 DAN “HANGMAN” HOOKER (18-8-0)
This is a three-round co-main event in the lightweight division. Iaquinta brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Hooker brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Both are well-rounded and tough fighters inside and out. Hooker’s kickboxing and Muay Thai look to be his key to victory as Iaquinta has taken heavy damage lately. However, Iaquinta is as tough as they come and will not go down so easy. Not to mention he is a better grappler than Hooker and possesses better cardio. Both these aspects will be Hooker’s downfall. Iaquinta will wear Hooker down before bringing him to the ground and control him in a dominating fashion. My prediction: Iaquinta wins via unanimous decision.

(C) ROBERT “THE REAPER” WHITTAKER (20-4-0) vs #1(IC) ISRAEL “THE LAST STYLEBENDER” ADESANYA (17-0-0)
This is a five-round main event for the middleweight championship. Whittaker brings boxing, hapkido, karate, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is the current champion. Adesanya brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. He is the current interim champion. Both are possibly the toughest fighters in the division, so it makes it difficult to chose a favorite. Adesanya is a tough fighter and will bring it to Whittaker. However, Whittaker will be able to get by Adesanya as the fight progresses. Adesanya has pretty good cardio, but Whittaker’s is better and that is what will make all the difference. The fight will begin strong, but later on, Whittaker will begin gaining more control. He will soon gain enough to where Adesanya will not be able to attack as much as before. He will continue this tactic until the very end. My prediction: Whittaker wins via unanimous decision.