Australia and New Zealand will author another chapter in their storied rivalry this Saturday (Oct. 5, 2019) when Middleweight kingpin Robert Whittaker and interim champion Israel Adesanya duke it out for 185-pound supremacy inside Marvel Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Meanwhile, in UFC 243’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Adesanya’s fellow City Kickboxing representative, Dan Hooker, faces the hard-charging Al Iaquinta, while Tai Tuivasa looks to right the ship against Sergey Spivak at Heavyweight.
UFC 243’s PPV on ESPN+ cost you a bit of dough to watch, so let’s plan for a quick recouping.
What Went Wrong at UFC Fight Night 160?
Frankly, I’m still baffled by that fight. I don’t get how Lina Lansberg could go from getting thrown around by Yana Kunitskaya to completely out-classing someone who out-muscled Featherweights without issue. You know the funny part? The original plan was for the parlays to be Jack Shore-Macy Chiasson and Marc Diakiese-Alex Oliveira, meaning I would have been screwed either way. Whoops.
UFC 243 Odds For The Under Card:
Jake Matthews (-280) vs. Rostem Akman (+240)
Maki Pitolo (-310) vs. Callan Potter (+255)
Megan Anderson (-500) vs. Zarah Fairn Dos Santos (+400)
Brad Riddell (-150) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (+130)
Ji Yeon Kim (-170) vs. Nadia Kassem (+150)
Khalid Taha (-240) vs. Bruno Silva (+200)
Thoughts: Maki Pitolo was an insane -135 at one point, then appeared to stabilize at -240. Now he’s over -300.
Frankly? Still worth it.
Pitolo is a brutal offensive striking machine whose key weakness is his lack of head movement. Callan Potter doesn’t hit hard enough to exploit that, and seeing as he’s coming up from Lightweight, will struggle mightily to get his wrestling going without his own crappy striking defense rearing its head. Pitolo’s holding all the cards here and should dispose of Potter within three minutes or so ... bank on it.
UFC 243 Odds For The Main Card:
Israel Adesanya (-115) vs. Robert Whittaker (-105)
Dan Hooker (-165) vs. Al Iaquinta (+145)
Tai Tuivasa (-370) vs. Sergey Spivak (+310)
Dhiego Lima (-150) vs. Luke Jumeau (+130)
Justin Tafa (-125) vs. Yorgan De Castro (+105)
Thoughts: I really like the line on Dan Hooker here. Big, rangy strikers seem to be a persistent problem for Iaquinta, and the 6’0” Hooker fits the bill nicely. He’s also got a far more proven chin than Iaquinta, withstanding bombs from the likes of Gilbert Burns and Edson Barboza, and his 5.5-inch reach advantage looks problematic for “Ragin’ Al.” I just don’t see Iaquinta surviving one of his customary slugfests against a bigger, tougher Lightweight with this level of finishing ability.
UFC 243 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Maki Pitolo and Dan Hooker: Bet $70 to make $78.40
Adesanya was half of 2019’s reigning “Fight of the Year,” so I can only imagine what’ll happen with “Bobby Knuckles” in front of him. See you Saturday, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 243 fight card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 243: “Whittaker vs. Adesanya” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.