Rob Whittaker and Israel Adesanya will headline UFC 243 but a co-main event to the blockbuster card is yet to be determined.
Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium will host the event that is being tipped to smash the UFC attendance record set at the same venue in 2015.
Over 56000 people turned up that day to witness Holly Holm famously dethrone Ronda Rousey while a second title fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valérie Létourneau featured on the card in the co-main event slot.
— UFC Aus/New Zealand (@UFC_AUSNZ) July 31, 2019
Speaking with Submission Radio, Israel Adesanya outlined why he expects Alex Volkanovski to fight for the featherweight title as the co-main event at UFC 243.
“Now that Max Holloway has won as well, definitely Alex Volkanovski is the guy,” Adesanya told Submission Radio.
“He’s gonna be the co-main event for our show, 243, and that’s gonna be beautiful to watch. You know, two CKB boys get crowned again. And fuck, it’s gonna be the biggest night yet in Australasian history for MMA.”
Volkanovski and Adesanya regularly train together as Volkanovski splits his time training at home in Wollongong and heading across the Tasman to train in Auckland at City Kickboxing.
With Max Holloway dispatching Frankie Edgar over the weekend, Volkanovski is next in line for the featherweight title.
Just watching and waiting… 👀
— UFC (@ufc) July 28, 2019
Whether Holloway will be ready in time for the October 6 date however remains to be seen with the featherweight champion suggesting December may be a more realistic time frame for the match up. Despite this, Adesanya believes the UFC will offer Holloway a deal he can not refuse.
“Ahh, money talks. Max will say December just because he wants to put the feelers out there. But money talks,’ Adesanya said.
“The UFC can throw a couple of stacks his way, couple racks, and they’ll get it done. Max likes to fight.”
Holloway has fought three times in the space of seven months and stated that he wants to fight again before the end of the year but will await medical testing before committing to a Melbourne date with Volkanovski.
“He looks healthy. He doesn’t look like he’s too banged up,” Adesanya said.
“He’s saying December. That’s a while away. But the UFC, they’re very persuasive, and everyone likes little stacks in their bank account. So, that always changes peoples’ mind.”
Adesanya knows first hand how it feels to have the UFC come and sweeten the deal when wanting to take time off. The interim champion looked to go on holiday on a number of occasions before fighting for the organisation six times in the space of fourteen months
“It did to me. Fucken hell, when you book a holiday and they’re like, alright, we’ll do this, you’re like, alright, fine, whatever. Stacks talk.”
My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook. I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.