UFC 243: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya -- how to watch, plus full analysis

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.

The UFC 243 main card also includes a lightweight showdown between Dan Hooker and Al Iaquinta as well as a matchup of heavyweights Tai Tuivasa and Serghei Spivac.

Watch the prelims on ESPN2: Download the ESPN App | WatchESPN | TV

Don't have ESPN2? Get instant access.

Don't have ESPN+ for the early prelims? Get it here.

There's also FightCenter, which offers live updates for UFC 243 and every UFC card.

UFC 243 schedule

PPV (via ESPN+), 10 p.m. ET

Robert Whittaker (c) vs. Israel Adesanya (ic) | Middleweight

Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker | Lightweight

Tai Tuivasa vs. Serghei Spivac | Heavyweight

Luke Jumeau vs. Dhiego Lima | Welterweight

Justin Tafa vs. Yorgan De Castro | Heavyweight

ESPN2, 8 p.m.

Jake Matthews vs. Rostem Akman | Welterweight

Callan Potter vs. Maki Pitolo | Welterweight

Jamie Mullarkey vs. Brad Riddell | Lightweight

Megan Anderson vs. Zarah Fairn | Women's featherweight

ESPN+, 6:45 p.m.

Nadia Kassem vs. Ji Yeon Kim | Women's flyweight

Khalid Taha vs. Bruno Silva | Men's bantamweight

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