Marvel Stadium in Melbourne will play host to the biggest fight in Australian and New Zealand history as Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya do battle to unify the UFC Middleweight Championship.

Australia’s Robert Whittaker comes into the fight undefeated in over five years and riding a wave of momentum that has seen him beat perennial top contenders Jacare Souza and Yoel Romero (twice) on his way to being crowned the best middleweight in the world.

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Unfortunately for Whittaker, injuries have restricted him to just one title defence and he has remained inactive since June 2018. A severe abdominal hernia just prior to a scheduled defence against Kelvin Gastelum forced Whittaker into potentially life saving surgery and a long road to recovery.

Since Whittaker’s last fight a new star has emerged and his name is Israel Adesanya. A decorated kickboxer holding a 75-5 professional record and an unblemished 17-0 in MMA, Adesanya has quickly ascended to the top of the sport.

Adesanya is brash, cocky and certainly divides opinion but nobody can argue that he is not a supremely talented mixed martial artist.

Fighting out of the famous City MMA gym in Auckland, Adesanya has gone 6-0 in the UFC since debuting against Rob Wilkinson is February 2018. Along the way he has notably defeated arguably the pound for pound greatest of all time Anderson Silva and in his last fight defeated Kelvin Gastelum in a 5 round epic to crown an interim UFC Middleweight Champion.

The fight against Gastelum was notable as it was the first time Adesanya had looked in trouble in a fight inside the octagon. Gastelum applied the pressure and landed some clean power shots which tested the chin of Adesanya who absorbed everything that was thrown at him to ultimately get his hand raised in victory.

Once Bruce Buffer announced Adesanya as interim champion all eyes turned to a unification bout with Whittaker in Australia. Dana White shortly thereafter announced the fight would take place and Melbourne was chosen to host the mega fight.