UFC 243 ‘Whittaker vs. Adesanya’ – Play by Play Updates & LIVE Results

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Yorgan de Castro defeated Justin Tafa via KO in Round 1

The ‘Mad Titan’ scored the biggest win of his career and channeled Mark Hunt’esque knockout walk-off.

Kicking off the main event are two heavyweights making their UFC Debut – Cape Verde’s Yorgan de Castro & Australian Justin Tafa. Castro got his big UFC break after his first-round TKO win at Dana White’s Contender Series in July. Squaring off against him is the local favourite Justin Tafa (3-0) who won all of his fights via TKO.

As the first round began, both the heavyweights wasted no time and began throwing wild exchanges landing stiff punches on each other. Tafa quickly moved into a clinch against the cage and landed some heavy body shots. Castro was feeling the heat and decided to separate. Tafa continued to charge forward landing a series of blows that saw Castro a bit overwhelmed. Sensing Castro would crumble under his pressure, Tafa lunged forward with a wild left hook –  big mistake! But Castro was waiting patiently to counter him with his short and well timed right hook that landed flush on Tafa’s chin sending him crashing to the ground. Seeing Tafa lay unconscious, Castro decided not to engage further and just walked away. A huge win for De Castro, who was an underdog in his Contender Series fight and in his UFC debut.

Dhiego Lima defeated Luke Jumeau via Split Decision

Dhiego Lima’s 500 kicks a day paid him off in big way.

The former “Ultimate Fighter” contender did more than he promised in the stand up for three rounds, but had to settle with a split decision win. The welterweight fight started off on a slow pace but Lima quickly upped the ante with his well placed leg kicks that stung Luke several times. By the end of the first round, Luke’s calves turned red causing him lose the speed and momentum. Whenever Lima was not kicking, he was making full use of his size advantage in the clinch and against the cage. Luke was way behind the scorecard and realized he had to do something big to win the fight. He managed to land his best strike with a punch that saw Lima shaken for a moment. Luke leaped to capitalize on the opening but Lima was quick enough to recover and retaliate with his own set of punches. Lima resorted back to using his kicks which were his main piece of ammo doing most of the damage. Luke never fully recovered from those devastating leg kicks and implement his game plan.

With this win, Lima is on a three fight win streak after losing three straight fights in between 2016-2018.

Sergey Spivak defeated Tai Tuivasa via Submission in Round 2

The Polar Bear’s judo throws were the key in his submission victory!

After a not-so-successful UFC debut against Walt Harris, Serghei Spivac vowed to make his second fight a memorable one. He did so with his impeccable judo and wrestling despite being the underdog in this geavyweight fight. Tai Tuivasa was coming off two straight losses and fighting on his home soil gave him the extra edge. His leg kicks and punches rattled Spivac in the first round. But once Spivac got back to his usual self, he took Tuivasa to the ground several times in spite of the significant weight difference. With Spivac on the top, Tuivasa was lost and could not defend the heavy blows the polar bear was throwing at him. With an opening in front of him, Spivac locked up an arm-triangle choke that put Tuivasa to sleep at 3:14 secs of the second round.

Dan Hooker defeated Al Iaquinta via Unanimous Decision

Dan Hooker delivers a dominant performance and goes ahead to call out Dustin Poirier!

In the co-main event, Dan Hooker was all over Al Iaquinta as he pressed forward and landed his entire arsenal of punches and kicks until Iaquinta had taken it all and eventually slowed down. Using his height and reach advantage, Dan kept Iaquinta at the end of his punches and kicks as he landed numerous shots that saw Iaquinta bleed from his nose. Having see his stand up not match up to Dan’s, Iaquinta changed his game plan switching to takedowns. But Dan was able to scramble and take Iaquinta’s back where he tried to land a rear naked choke.

Iaquint escaped and eventually landed some big over hand rights on Dan to catch him off guard. But Dan was persistent in his striking and never really allowed Iaquinta to get inside his range. Dan went all out displaying his elite kickboxing skills and take down defense game. With this win, Hooker is now 6-1 at lightweight and has called out Poirier for his next fight.

Israel Adesanya defeated Robert Whittaker vi KO in Round 2

After two years and seven fights in the middleweight division, Israel Adesanya becomes UFC’s new middleweight champion.

In the main event, the interim champion Adesanya and the middleweight champion Whittaker clashed in a pivotal fight in front of 57,000 fans inside the Marvel Stadium. The win shifted the divisions momentum and takes on a new path with Adesanya as the new champion. Whittaker was explosive from the start, leaping in and out of the punches. But the his range and Adesanya’s head movement made it difficult for him to land any significant strike. Adesanya countered Whittaker’s every move with his out-of-the-world head movement. Whittaker was all game for stand and bang but with wide openings in his striking, Adesanya was able to land some heavy shots that saw him drop to the mat by the end of the first round. Whittaker kept lunging forward and Adesanya moved like air from one angle to another.  “The Last Stylebender” unloaded a beautiful right hand that wobbled Whittaker and then followed with a  left hand to eventually drop him on the canvas.

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