UFC 243 Results: Incredible knockout in the main event, undefeated fighter loses

Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker.
Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker.

The biggest fight in the combat history of Australia and New Zealand went down inside the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya faced each other in a Middleweight title unification bout in the main event and as promised, we witnessed a masterclass from an elite athlete.

The co-main event saw Al Iaquinta take on Dan Hooker in an important Lightweight contest. Tai Tuivasa and Sergey Spivak were involved in a heavyweight scrap while former TUF competitor Dhiego Lima looked to extend his win-streak.

The main card kicked off with a vintage walkout knockout.

The event overall broke the record for having the largest stadium crowd for a UFC show as 57,000+ fans were in attendance to witness history unfold in front of their eyes. And by the end of their night, they surely got their money's worth.

Here are the results and highlights of UFC 243.

UFC 243 Results: Prelims

Jake Matthews def. Rostem Akman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Callan Potter def. Maki Pitolo via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Brad Riddell def. Jamie Mullarkey via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Megan Anderson def. Zarah Fairn dos Santos via submission (triangle choke) (3:57, Round 1)

Ji Yeon Kim def. Nadia Kassem via TKO (punches) (4:59, Round 2)

Khalid Taha def. Bruno Silva via submission (arm triangle choke) (3:00, Round 3)

UFC 243 Results: Main Card

#1 Yorgan De Castro (5-0) vs. Justin Tafa (3-0) (Heavyweight)

De Castro vs. Tafa.
De Castro vs. Tafa.

The main card kicked off with a heavyweight bout between two undefeated fighters. It doesn't get any better than that!

Round 1: They engaged from the get-go and threw bombs at each other near the fence. Both men settled for a body lock with Tafa pushing Castro against the cage.

Tafa landed a few punches to the body in the lockup. Tafa continued to work the body with punches and landed a few uppercuts on the break and both were back circling in the centre.

Tafa squared up and came in for a big overhand right, however, Castro timed his power right to perfection, that landed straight to Tafa's jaw and it was lights out. Castro walked away in classic Mark Hunt style to make the knockout look even more special. Now that's how to kick off the main card!

Result: Yorgan De Castro def. Justin Tafa via KO (2:10, Round 1)

Yorgan De Castro couldn't have asked for a better debut. A quintessential one-punch walkout doesn't happen quite often, but when it does, it's a proper highlight-reel moment and The Mad Titan deserves all the props.

Justin Tafa's undefeated streak ended with one of the best knockouts of the year.

#2 Luke Jumeau vs Dhiego Lima (Welterweight)

Jumeau vs. Lima.
Jumeau vs. Lima.

Tae Kwon Do Black Belt Luke Jumeau had finished 9 of his 13 wins before this fight. His opponent, former TUF contestant Dhiego Lima came into the fight to improve on his two-fight win streak. This one looked interesting on paper.

Round 1: Lima looked more mobile on his feet in the early stages. Lima went for a body punch. Jumeau connected with a solid outside body kick.

Lima also went for the leg kick. Jumeau went for the high kick and level changed for a punch but Lima saw it coming and countered with a right, extending for a lead right. He briefly shifted stance before going back to orthodox before he produced a stiff outside leg kick. He stepped in for a left jab. Lima felt some discomfort after an unintentional eye poke which brought in the doctor for a checkup.

The fight resumed and the crowd popped. It was a slow-paced round with not much offence from both men. Lima worked towards wearing down Jumeau's lead leg, with the latter's right leg already swollen as a result of Lima's whippy low leg kicks.

The round came to an end with Lima swinging for another outside low leg kick.

Round 2: Lima amped up the pressure as he put Jumeau off balance with a big low leg kick. Lima controlled the fight and his positions.

Jumeau's corner directed him to push forward and he did the same while looking really uncomfortable. Jumeau took some risk and had Lima reeling for a moment with a good three-piece combo. Lima survived an onslaught, ducked under a strike and took Jumeau down. He kept Jumeau down until the end of the round as the latter's left leg looked absolutely wrecked.

Round 3: Lima fired off a low leg kick to begin the final round and produced another leg kick, which was countred by Jumeau with a quick right.

Lima didn't stop with the leg kicks. The damage had been done as Jumeau was having problems moving around. Lima faked a body punch to go up top for a straight right.

Jumeau figured that he needed to do something to get the fight in his favour. He pressed and tried to get a body kick as Lima tried to keep his distance. He engaged in a body lock and looked to see off the round but his job was done. All Lima had to do now was to not get knocked out. Jumeau landed a good combination, however, Lima answered with a nice 1-2 of his own that pushed Jumeau back.

Lima soon struck with a good follow-up uppercut and avoided a wild right from Jumeau and attempted the single leg. Jumeau showed great balance to stuff the takedown and with 30 seconds to go, Lima remained cautious while Jumeau showed no urgency. Jumeau didn't pull the trigger and the fight came to an end.

Result: Dhiego Lima def. Luke Jumeau via split decision 29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Split decision? The judge who scored the fight in favour of Jumeau was certainly watching another bout. Lima put on a professional performance by restricting Jumeau's mobility with the leg kicks. He landed takedowns and kept the distance at opportune moments. It may not have been the prettiest of fights to watch but it was a smart win in the book for Lima.

#3 Tai Tuivasa vs Sergey Spivak (Heavyweight)

Tuivasa vs. Spivak.
Tuivasa vs. Spivak.

Sergey Spivak suffered his first professional MMA loss in his last fight against Walt Harris and looked for a positive rebound win this time around. The betting odds favourite Tai Tuivasa was on a 2-fight losing streak and had the opportunity to get back in the win column in front of his hometown fans.

Round 1: They touched gloves and began sizing each other up. Tuivasa swept Spivak off his feet with a massive low kick. He went to land a few big shots but Spivak recuperated.

Tuivasa looked to continue with the leg kicks but lost focus and Spivak took him down. Tuivasa got back against the cage and on his feet which received appreciation from the fans.

A good left hand was followed by an elbow right over the top from Tuivasa before Spivak yanked Tuivasa down and got the headlock. Both men get back on their feet and let their hands loose.

Spivak got Tuivasa down again. Tuivasa worked his positions well to force his way back up as he got in another headlock and took Tuivasa down yet again. Spivak attempted a choke but Tuivasa turned over and released the pressure to get back up.

And we went back down again with Spivak landing another takedown. Spivak picked up 5 for 5 and the round ended with Spivak on top, which was a great start.

Round 2: Spivak went for a big overhand right. He connected with a few jabs and looked more confident in his approach. Spivak went for the double leg and dumped Tuivasa onto the mat. Tuivasa got up and landed an elbow on the break.

Tuivasa needed to get his striking in place as Spivak was winning the fight with his wrestling. Soon, they were up against the cage.

Spivak landed two close shots on the break. Spivak shot again and landed another takedown. This time Spivak settled for side control and moved to the top position and mounted Tuivasa. Short punches and elbows from the top saw him claim dominance.

Brutal ground strikes from Spivak that opened a cut on Tuivasa's face. Spivak locked in the arm triangle, put his body against the cage, and tightened the choke. The referee lifted Tuivasa's arm and called off the contest. And just like that, the underdog silenced the fans inside the Marvel Stadium.

Result: Sergey Spivak def. Tai Tuivasa via submission (Arm Triangle Choke) (Round 2, 3:14)

Spivak used his wrestling to pick up his first UFC win and most importantly, it came against a ranked opponent. A huge upset.

#4 Dan Hooker vs Al Iaquinta (Lightweight)

Iaquinta vs. Hooker.
Iaquinta vs. Hooker.

The co-main event of the evening was upon us and it promised to be a high-octane and technical fight between two very talented Lightweights. A lot was at stake here but did it live up to its billing? Let's find out.

Round 1: Iaquinta circled and kept the distance. Iaquinta kept going in and out and looked to make a read on his opponent. Hooker followed Iaquinta and attempted to land a few strikes. He landed a few left jabs and a low kick.

Good right hand from Iaquinta was followed by a good counter body kick. Iaquinta then caught Hooker's kick and took him to the other side of the Octagon. He didn't let go of his leg but Hooker, however, landed a series of elbows from the side. Iaquinta needed to move and let go of the leg, which he did, but also showed his back to Hooker in the process

Hooker was unable to get the body triangle and the subsequent RNC. They both got back up to their feet and exchanged a few strikes and kicks but in the end, this was a solid round for Hooker.

Round 2: Hooker kept the jabs coming in and also produced an oblique body kick before he went up top to the head to which Iaquinta had his hand up.

Iaquinta kept changing stances and positions to keeping Hooker guessing. Hooker had found his range and was landing blows at will. Hooker brought out a nice inside leg kick before Iaquinta went for another takedown and Hooker defended it with ease.

Iaquinta stayed on his back and invited Hooker into his guard. Hooker gestured him to stand up, and the former got in a few good shots from the southpaw position. He got into the pocket and landed some good left-hand shots. Iaquinta attempted a single leg but Hooker stuffed it and despite multiple efforts, Hooker stayed firm.

Hooker rocked Iaquinta with a big right hook that sent him back first into the mat. Hooker followed him down in side control. Hard elbows and short punches from Hooker led to good control as Iaquinta tried to sweep and land an ankle lock, but he ran out of time.

Round 3: Hooker attacked the body and Iaquinta was forced to fight in southpaw as Hooker kept landing the left in Iaquanta's preferred stance. Hooker maintained his range and kept landing the left jab and his striking was in full flow as he landed the jabs, ducked a few times and landed the occasional right. Hooker used his big reach advantage and the jabs to keep Iaquinta at bay.

Despite two good leg kicks from Iaquinta, Hooker was leading with more significant strikes and the jabs kept landing all day. He suffered a small cut next to his left eye but that didn't stop him from controlling the fight.

Iaquinta rushed in for a final flurry of strikes but he missed as the fight ended.

Result: Dan Hooker def. Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

The Hangman looked incredible in his sixth UFC win and he even called out Dustin Poirier in his post-fight interview. Now that's a fight we'd love to see!

#5 Israel Adesanya vs Robert Whittaker (UFC Middleweight Title Unification Fight)

Whittaker vs. Adesanya.
Whittaker vs. Adesanya.

New Zealand vs. Australia! Champion vs. Champion. The Reaper vs. The Last Stylebender! The biggest fight in Australia and New Zealand's combat sports history! Here...we...go!

Round 1: Whittaker attempted the oblique leg kick. He pressed forward and as Daniel Cormier noted, was looking to make the fight a little dirty and it was a good leg kick from Whittaker.

Adesanya was cautious as usual and waited for an opening. Whittaker tried to find his way in with a three-piece. Adesanya landed a jab and produced a front body kick before Adesanya and Whittaker exchanged jabs.

Whittaker was more busy with his striking while Adesanya was more efficient. Whittaker was throwing every strike with a lot of heat. Adesanya, so far, was defending well. His head movement was particularly impressive.

Adesanya went kick for the head kick. Whittaker got his hand up. Whittaker went for a wild right and a looping head kick. Adesanya moved around well. Whittaker kept throwing in the hard kicks. Adesanya knocked Whittaker down with a big right before the bell.

Whittaker got saved by the bell there!

Round 2: Whittaker aggressively lunged forward. He landed a stiff jab and a right hand but Adesanya responded with a low kick. Whittaker chased Adesanya but failed to connect with the big shots. Adesanya was evading most of the strikes and kept landing the right hook counter.

Adesanya landed a head kick. He pushed forward and connected with a body punch combo. until a big left hook from Whittaker caught him off guard. Whittaker went high for the kick but Adesanya easily got out of the way. He did so again on two occasions.

Whittaker made his way into the pocket again and landed a left blow. Adesanya ate the shot and countered with a massive double hook. The left, in particular, stunned Whittaker. The champion wobbled backwards and dropped down to the mat.

Adesanya got in and applied the finishing touches.

Result: Israel Adesanya def. Robert Whittaker via TKO (Round 2, 3:33)

Israel freakin' Adesanya! Take a bow! The Last Stylebender is your undisputed Middleweight Champion! That was a coming-off-the-age from a truly elite fighter.

We're so stoked for Paulo Costa and Israel Adesanya now! Bring it on!

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Edited by Prasen Moudgal
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