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UFC 243 video preview: Follow Israel Adesanya’s journey to MMA stardom

Israel Adesanya is one win away from cementing himself as the best middleweight fighter in MMA today. All he has to do is defeat reigning UFC champion Robert Whittaker tomorrow night (Sat., Oct. 5, 2019) at UFC 243 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

It’s crazy to think where Adesanya currently is in his UFC career considering he made his debut back in February of 2018. That’s less than two years ago and “Last Stylebender” has already compiled an undefeated Octagon record of 6-0 with key wins over legendary fighter Anderson Silva, top contender Kelvin Gastelum, and veteran knockout artist Derek Brunson.

Some saw this string of dominance coming, others remain surprised. Because even though the Nigerian native has been competing in professional kickboxing and boxing since 2011 that didn’t necessarily mean he was going to excel in MMA. After all, MMA is much more involved than the normal standup arts and requires consistent evolution in other areas like wrestling and jiu-jitsu.

In effort to understand the meteoric rise of “Last Stylebender” and how he turned a professional kickboxing career into a UFC title shot in less than 24 months, ESPN MMA has released a behind-the-scenes look into Adesanya’s journey to the top (shown in the above video player). From Lagos, Nigeria to Auckland, New Zealand, Adesanya has traveled around the world to find his footing in combat sports and eventually test his luck for a UFC championship.

We will find out one way or another if “Last Stylebender” has what it takes to defeat Whittaker at UFC 243, capture the undisputed middleweight title, and become the next big star in today’s MMA.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 243 fight card below, starting with the Fight Pass/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To find out who else is competing at UFC 243 click here.

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