Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya will headline UFC 243 in a Middleweight title fight and the excitement levels are certainly quite high, not just in Australia, but also in neighboring New Zealand.
Whittaker interacted with the media ahead of the historic event, during which he spoke about the rise of MMA in Athe two countries while also touching upon the hype surrounding the event. Whittaker feels he has had a had to play in MMA becoming a mainstream sport in Oceania and the Southwestern Pacific region.
Yes, I really am stoked that the event - and a lot of people from overseas don't realize this, that the event is held on the same weekend that the Grand Final and it can compare with the Grand Final, it can still sell tickets and it can still sell out. And I am so happy to see the sport in such a healthy spot. For myself in one regard, but more so for the athletes coming up and the next generation of UFC fighters that are coming up from this part of the world.
Because, the sport has developed so much since I got into it and since the people before me got into it that it’s really just night and day. There are more opportunities than ever for mixed martial artists in this part of the world to get in there to make careers out of this and to make a living doing what they love.
That’s always been one of my objectives and one of my biggest goals has been to increase the spotlight, the positive spotlight, the positive reputation of the sport here in Australia and New Zealand and this side of the world - just so that it gets the recognition that I feel that it deserves and that it can really hit the mainstream sports markets. And I feel like I've had a bit of a hand in that.
Whittaker and Adesanya will be locked inside the Octagon in a few hours at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Who are you rooting for? Let us know in the comments section below.
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