Robert Whittaker will end 16 months of inactivity and defend his UFC middleweight championship for the first time when he faces interim champion Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 243 on Saturday in Melbourne, Australia. The main card begins at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view, which fans can purchase here. The prelims are on ESPN2 at 8 p.m., with the early prelims on ESPN+ at 6:45.
Whittaker (20-4) did fight once since becoming champion, but that bout in June 2018 became a nontitle fight after his scheduled challenger, Yoel Romero, failed to make weight. Whittaker won by split decision to run his winning streak to nine in a row.
Adesanya (17-0) earned his interim belt with a unanimous decision over Kelvin Gastelum in April.
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UFC 243 schedule
PPV (via ESPN+), 10 p.m. ET
ESPN2, 8 p.m.
ESPN+, 6:45 p.m.