UFC 243 ‘Whittaker vs. Adesanya’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Oct 5, 2019


The ordering process for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-views has changed: UFC 243 is only available on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Sherdog's live UFC 243 “Whittaker vs. Adesanya” coverage begins Saturday at 6:45 p.m. ET.

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Khalid Taha vs. Bruno Silva

Round 1

To kick off our night, we have the only fight that does not feature a fighter from Oceania, as Germany's Taha (13-2, 1-1 UFC) takes on Silva (10-3-2, 0-0 UFC) from Brazil. Silva starts out strong with his walkout game, using a song normally attributed to Robert Whittaker: "Can't Be Touched" by Body Head Bangerz, most famously known as the rap group created by boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. Our referee for this 137-pound catchweight contest -- Taha missed weight -- is Greg Kleynjans. The two men touch gloves, and we begin the night. They feint and fake to find an angle, and it is Silva that strikes first, landing a low leg kick that almost buckles the leg of Taha. They come together, and both swing heavy leather, and Taha drops Silva with a left hook. Silva springs to his feet quickly and jumps into the clinch with Taha. The German stalks down Silva and throws a kick that falls short, but he has Silva backing away. "The Warrior" sits down on a right hand and even though Silva partly blocks it, it still stings him and marks his face up. Silva commits to a body kick, and Taha walks right through it while trying to wing another big right hand. Taha swings a leg kick so hard he nearly falls off balance, missing Silva, but he follows up with a hard right. As Silva backs off, he aims for a high leg kick but it misses the mark, catching Taha right in the cup. The action pauses, and Taha takes a minute before we start things up again. The Brazilian whiffs with a spinning wheel kick, and Taha presses forward into the clinch. Silva spins him around, and in the clinch fires a knee up the middle that loudly catches Taha in the groin. Taha crumples to the ground in obvious pain, and doesn't take nearly enough time to recover before the fight begins again. An angry Taha sprints toward Silva, but Silva backs away and eats a body kick. Silva just misses a spinning back fist, and then charges forward to pursue a body lock takedown, as the horn sounds to end the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Taha
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Taha
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Taha

Round 2

As Round 2 begins, Taha runs forward to throw a body kick, and then drops Silva with a powerful right straight. Taha blitzes forward and throws a kick as hard as he can, luckily missing the head of his opponent -- if it had landed, it would have been illegal, as Silva had a knee on the ground. Silva uses the aggression of his opponent to finally take Taha to the ground, and sitting in full guard he drops down multiple hammerfists. Posturing up for a moment only to jump back down with punches, Silva takes an upkick to the chin but uses the moment to advance his position to side control. Taha takes back side control, while exerting heavy pressure on the German. Silva briefly looks to set up an arm-triangle choke, but he is in the wrong position for it, so he bails and tries to set up some elbow strikes. The two men scramble as Taha desperately tries to get back to his feet, and he gets back to full guard but takes several hard elbows and punches in the process. Silva stands up again to return with more strikes, and instead of getting back to his feet, Taha throws a few more upkicks, allowing Silva to come back down on him. Taha spins out and gets to his knees, so Silva counters with a brief guillotine choke setup before blasting a knee to his opponent's chest as the round expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Silva
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Silva
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Silva

Round 3

Touching gloves one last time, Silva opens up the round with a spinning kick, but Taha closes the distance so it cannot land. Like the second round, Silva shoots in for a takedown, and gets his man down, but this time Taha does not stay grounded for long. Taha stands up, but embodying his nickname of "Bulldog," Silva stays tenacious in the clinch before dropping down for a single leg takedown. In the process, Taha scores a knee on the chin of the Brazilian, before going on to stuff the attempt. Silva tries for a trip before spinning out, and Taha comes on strong with several wide hooks. As Silva shoots in for another takedown in the center of the cage, Taha blasts him with a slew of loud elbows to the side of the head. Silva spins around, but Taha takes advantage and tries to cinch up a rear-naked choke. Silva falls to his back, and "The Warrior" quickly turns and jumps from mount to side control. From that position, his sights are fully set on an arm-triangle choke, and as he pushes down Silva has no choice but to tap out or get put to sleep. This is a big win for Taha, who usually prefers to finish his opponents with strikes.

The Official Result

Khalid Taha def. Bruno Silva R3 3:00 via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)

Nadia Kassem vs. Ji Yeon Kim

Round 1

In the first of two women's bouts of the evening, we move to the flyweight division, where Aussie Kassem (5-1, 1-1 UFC) tries to start the night off right for the home crowd against Kim (8-2-2, 2-2 UFC). With Kim missing weight by two pounds and forfeiting 30 percent of her purse, referring this 128-pound catchweight affair is Jim Perdios. As Kassem reaches to touch gloves, she fakes it out and scores a side kick to Kim's body. As she is coming in, Kim blasts her with a left hook and drops her, and Kassem takes a few shots to get to her feet. Kim closes in for the clinch, but it is Kassem who takes the fight down with a throw, landing in her opponent's guard. Kassem stands up and Kim swings several upkicks that force Kassem to back away, allowing Kim to get to her feet. Clinched up again, Kassem tries to capitalize with an elbow on the break, but she misses and takes a body kick for her efforts. The Aussie charges forward with an attack, but Kim is patient and ready to counter her momentum. Kassem stings Kim with a superwoman punch, but Kim wears it well and presses forward with a wide one-two. Kim pushes forward with several straight punches, finding success with them, so Kassem backs her off with a push kick up the middle. Kim leaps forward with a three-punch combination, but Kassem circles out and lands a combination of her own. Two solid side kicks land for Kassem again, who has landed that kick almost every time she has thrown it. Leaning against the fence briefly, the two bring the clinch to the center of the cage, but neither connect on their strikes as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Kim
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Kim
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Kim

Round 2

This round, Kassem does not start as aggressively, backing away while attempting a few leg kicks. Kim counters one leg kick with straight right hand, forcing Kassem to backpedal. Kim attempts to set up the jab, and takes a body kick before throwing a right straight down the pipe again. Kassem digs to the body with a few more body kicks, and breaks it up with a leg kick while circling out. The Aussie is keeping Kim at bay with her kicks, not allowing Kim to close the distance. This range proves to be the disadvantage for Kassem's strikes as well, as she tries for a spinning back fist and is well short of the mark. Kim tries to pay her opponent back with a few kicks, but Kassem dances out of danger. Kim cracks Kassem with a right hand, knocking her mouthpiece out, and Kim swarms her opponent with punches before Perdios inexplicably stops the action mid-combination. He replaces her mouthpiece as Kim and her corner protest, but when the action begins the two women trade leather at volume. Not necessarily getting the better of these exchanges, Kassem backs away and tries to rely on her body kicks, but Kim comes on strong. Kim stagger Kassem with another right hand, and the gas tank of Kassem looks to be running on empty. Kim unloads a barrage of punches that open up Kassem and cause the Australian fighter to turn away a few times. Sensing her opponent is fading fast, she changes her target and goes to the body with several vicious punches that cause Kassem to double over. Kim swings mercilessly with a right to the body, and Kassem crumples, forcing Perdios to halt the contest with barely a second left in the round. This is a surprising but thrilling result, as Kassem had never been stopped with strikes, and prior to this performance, "Fire Fist" had only recorded one win by knockout.

The Official Result

Ji Yeon Kim def. Nadia Kassem R2 4:59 via KO (Punch to the Body)

Megan Anderson vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos

Round 1

The second and final bout between female fighters this evening takes place in the featherweight division, as hometown favorite and former Invicta Fighting Championships champ Anderson (9-4, 1-2 UFC) takes on the debuting Fairn dos Santos (6-2, 0-0 UFC) from France. Drawing the assignment is referee John Sharp. Fairn dos Santos charges forward right out of the gate and strings together a powerful combination that backs Anderson against the fence. Anderson scores an elbow as they close together, and then they clinch up. Partially circling out, Anderson takes the back of Fairn dos Santos, and then drags the Frenchwoman to the ground. Advancing immediately to a mounted position, Anderson stays heavy on her debuting opponent. Unable to set up any kind of choke or land significant strikes, Anderson just lays on top for the good part of a minute before sitting up to drop down an elbow. Fairn dos Santos tries to put punches together off her back, and almost escapes position before Anderson adjusts herself and opens Fairn dos Santos up with some ground-and-pound. Anderson slashes down with a few elbows, and Fairn dos Santos tries to buck Anderson off of her, but she cannot do so. As Anderson sits up to rain down strikes, Fairn dos Santos explodes out and reverse the position to end up on top. Anderson uses her long legs to immediately throw up a triangle choke, and Fairn dos Santos flails and swings to try to get out of submission danger. The French fighter rolls to her side, and Anderson locks up the choke, forcing Fairn dos Santos to tap out. The crowd erupts for the Australian, who puts the country on the board this evening with a submission victory, and becomes the first fighter to ever finish Fairn dos Santos.

The Official Result

Megan Anderson def. Zarah Fairn dos Santos R1 3:57 via Submission (Triangle Choke)

Brad Riddell vs. Jamie Mullarkey

Round 1

We next move to one of two fights tonight where two Octagon newcomers square off, in an all-Oceania affair as New Zealand native Riddell (6-1, 0-0 UFC) collides with Aussie Mullarkey (12-2, 0-0 UFC). During his entrance, Riddell tempts fate by walking out to "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC -- a track that accompanies a recorded winning percentage of just over .300. The third man in the cage is referee Marc Goddard. Mullarkey starts out with a quick jab and low kick, and then scores another sharp jab. Riddell replies with a solid overhand right, and his opponent then returns fire with another leg kick. The two men trade jabs, and Riddell strings together a punch combination punctuated by a potent leg kick. Riddell digs to the body with a left, and ducks away as Mullarkey tries to counter with a one-two. Mullarkey chains a few jabs together before throwing a head kick that is blocked, and Riddell replies with one more leg kick. Keeping the jab doing, the Aussie then shoots in for a takedown, but is stuffed. Mullarkey gets Riddell with his back against the fence, and is putting all of his weight on "Quake." Goddard asks the fighters to work, and they separate and both try to capitalize on the break, but neither are successful. Riddell comes up short with a low kick, but scores with a left-right hook combination that briefly wobbles Mullarkey. Riddell ducks an overhand from Mullarkey and lands hard to the body, before sitting down on an uppercut that just misses. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Riddell
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Riddell
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Riddell

Round 2

Riddell, who suffered a cut on his eyebrow in an exchange in the first round, starts out aggressively by chasing Mullarkey with strikes. Mullarkey shoots in for a takedown quickly, and Riddell scrambles and gets back up before the Aussie drags him back down. Riddell walks up the cage, only to get tossed down by Mullarkey again, although he springs out of this position and the two get back to their feet. As Riddell throws a hard kick, Mullarkey catches it and kicks out his other leg, ending up on top of "Quake." Although Mullarkey keeps Riddell down briefly, the Kiwi scrambles, reverses position and takes side control of his opponent. Mullarkey stands back up, and is dead set on keeping the fight on the canvas, as he doggedly pursues a deep single leg takedown. Riddell defends it well, and pushes off to take the center of the Octagon. The two clash together and bang their heads together, and as they back away Riddell stings Mullarkey with a right hand. As Mullarkey swings for an elbow, Riddell uses the opportunity to dive forward and gets the Aussie down, taking mount immediately. Riddell slashes a few elbows down that make Mullarkey turn away, and in the process Mullarkey gives up his back. Riddell immediately goes after a rear-naked choke, and he almost takes it before Mullarkey breaks free and takes top position as the second round comes to a close.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Riddell
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Riddell
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Riddell

Round 3

Riddell comes out firing again like the last round, thumping Mullarkey with a body shot before whipping a leg kick that causes Mullarkey to pirouette. Mullarkey shoots in for a takedown, but Riddell stands strong, and uses his momentum to get Mullarkey down. After landing some minor ground-and-pound, "Quake" stands back and lets Mullarkey get to his feet again. Riddell cracks Mullarkey in an exchange, and the two swing for the fences. Riddell smashes Mullarkey with a right hand that knocks his mouthpiece out, and after they trade leather Mullarkey comes back with a left that staggers Riddell. The Kiwi falls backward and Mullarkey dives on top, before setting up a rear-naked choke that Riddell barely survives. As Mullarkey falls off, the two get back to their feet, where they immediately trade punches. Riddell hammers Mullarkey with more punches that knock Mullarkey's mouthpiece out again, and his strikes bloody up the mouth of Mullarkey. Mullarkey goes for a desperation takedown that Riddell avoids, and after several more damaging strikes, Riddell pushes his adversary down. Instead deciding he wants to stand and trade, Riddell then stands back up and Goddard replaces the mouthpiece. Mullarkey stings Riddell with a right hand, but Riddell digs to the body and hurts him badly. The two swing with fury and both men hurt one another, and are falling all across the cage. Mullarkey falls to his back, barely in the fight, as Riddell clubs him with more punches. Exhausted, both men return to their knees, and Riddell nails Mullarkey with one last right hand as the horn sounds. This thriller ends, with both men completely spent and barely able to stand up. What a fight.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Riddell (30-26 Riddell)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Riddell (30-26 Riddell)
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-8 Riddell (30-26 Riddell)

The Official Result

Brad Riddell def. Jamie Mullarkey via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 30-26, 30-26)

Callan Potter vs. Maki Pitolo

Round 1

Sherdog Scores

Moving up to welterweight, Australia's Potter (17-8, 0-1 UFC) tries to spoil the debut of the Hawaiian sporting the nickname "Coconut Bombz," Pitolo (12-4, 0-0 UFC). Serving as the referee will be Steve Perceval. The two touch gloves, and Potter advances and swings hard. The two men trade punch-for-punch for a few seconds, and Potter cracks Pitolo and makes him back off. Pitolo recovers and advances with his boxing, but they both are swinging for the fences with zero defense. Pitolo unleashes some coconut bombs, and with Potter defending about half the incoming strikes, he pops Pitolo coming in and causes the American to bleed. As Pitolo charges forward, Potter appears to pull guard, and does so to wrap up Pitolo. The Hawaiian takes Potter's back and pursues a rear-naked choke, but Potter stays calm, allowing Pitolo to roll off the side so he can escape the choke. While on top, it is Pitolo that is searching for another submission, using a guillotine choke to stand back up. As he holds on to the guillotine, the Aussie lifts Pitol up and slams him down. Pitolo scrambles and the two men come together, swinging with all their might. Potter gets the better of the exchange, hurting Pitolo again and forcing him to back away. In the clinch, Potter lifts a knee and catches Pitolo right on the chin, but Pitolo is no worse for wear. The round ends with them hanging tight while clinched up.

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pitolo
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Pitolo
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Pitolo

Round 2

Pitolo opens up the second round appearing to want to counter, as he catches Potter coming in with a right hand. As he leads with a straight left that opens up the Australian fighter, he barely ducks out of the way of a big hook. Pitolo displays some sharp boxing, chaining together a four-punch combination but eating an overhand left for his efforts. A one-two from Pitolo causes Potter to crash forward into the clinch, and Pitolo tries to trip his opponent but is unsuccessful, ending up with his back against the fence. Pitolo gets an underhook and turns out, but Potter follows his corner's advice to a "T" and gets the Hawaiian back pressed against the cage. Having slowed this fight down, Potter sneaks in a few knees, but Perceval breaks the two men up. Potter stings Pitolo with a right and then a knee up the middle that forces Pitolo to backpedal, where "The Rockstar" strings together a lengthy combination that repeatedly lands on the chin of his durable opponent. Clinched up, Potter pushes off to land a big elbow, only to close the distance again and grind Pitolo against the fence. Separated again by the referee with 10 seconds left, the two stand and bang until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Potter
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Potter
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Potter

Round 3

A fired-up corner for Potter energizes their fighter in the final round, and within seconds, Potter takes Pitolo down to the canvas. The Hawaiian tries to wall walk, but almost gives up his back so he spins out, and Potter follows him there. Pitolo stands up, and after they break he lands a one-two followed by an uppercut. Pitolo chains a four-punch combination together that Potter ignores, as he has one goal in mind: take the fight down. Potter does just this, throwing Pitolo down and immediately taking half guard. Potter quickly advances position over his visibly tired opponent, taking side control before almost stepping over to mount. Pitolo can do nothing now but hold on tight to Potter, and he eats a few short elbows and aggravating hammerfists. As the Hawaiian tries to sit up, Potter uses this scramble to try to set up a crucifix, and although he cannot get it, he is content to rain down left hands. Gradually, Potter slides into mount, who then takes three-quarter mount to keep Pitolo grounded as he sporadically throws punches and elbows from above. The fight ends with Potter on top, and as he stands up, he celebrates, likely having earned his first win inside the Octagon while in front of home country fans.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Potter (29-28 Potter)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Potter (29-28 Potter)
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Potter (29-28 Potter)

The Official Result

Callan Potter def. Maki Pitolo via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Jake Matthews vs. Rostem Akman

Round 1

Remaining at welterweight for the preliminary headliner, Matthews (14-4, 7-4 UFC) looks to win another for Australia as he faces off against once-beaten and exceptionally hirsute Akman (6-1, 0-1 UFC). Assigned to this fight is referee Greg Kleynjans. As the fight begins, Akman immediately presses forward, but neither man lands a strike for the first 30 seconds. As Matthews circles away, he finally lands a glancing leg kick, although he sits into one that follows. Suddenly, the two clash together and both swing, and neither really connects. Akman charges forward like a bull and Matthews darts away, before throwing a head kick that is barely blocked. The Swede races forward again, and Matthews is ready to duck away. As Matthews tries to step in with a knee, Akman goes over the top with a straight left hand. Coming up short with a front kick, Akman eats a right hand and then takes a front kick from Matthews. Matthews loads up with a big right hand that hits nothing but air, and then ducks out of the way from Akman and lands two lefts. A right hand from Matthews dings off the head of his opponent, and Akman fires back with a right uppercut. Matthews charges forward and sneaks in a right hand over the top, causing Akman to lose his balance and stumble. The Swede is not hurt, but he eats two more punches while trying to defend. The tentative first round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Matthews
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-10
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Matthews

Round 2

The second round begins much like the first, with Akman pressing forward but not doing much with it. A lunging right hand catches Akman on the chin, forcing the Swede to wobble again. As Matthews swings again, Akman is ready on the counter, catching Matthews with a right hand. Akman comes in with two looping hooks, but neither connect, so Matthews returns fire with a straight left that finds the jaw. The Aussie tries to set up a huge right hand following a left straight, but the right hook is well off the mark. As Akman comes in, he lands a knee on Matthews' chin as Matthews tries to connect to his opponent's body. Both men swing hard and miss, as their power shots cannot find the target. Matthews finally lands on the end of a winging left hook, but Akman shrugs it off. The Swede tries to press the action with several punches on the way in, and Matthews dodges and weaves while trying to fire back. With less than a minute to go, Matthews starts putting kicks together, faking a head kick and landing a slapping leg kick instead. Akman crashes forward once more, and Matthews sits on the counter right hand, backing off Akman again. The horn sounds as Matthews swings violently, but does not connect with anything of note.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Matthews
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Matthews
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Matthews

Round 3

With two rounds in the books, the two men touch gloves as the final round begins. Matthews wades forward while preemptively ducking any counters, but none come his way. Akman steps in to try to land a combination, and like many times throughout the fight, Matthews tries to counter with a right hand. The Aussie digs a right to the body and left to the head, and Akman ignores it and moves forward. The two swing their way and almost clinch up, before Matthews tries to sting Akman with a check knee. Matthews tries to chain together a combination and Akman ducks, but he takes a right at the end. As Akman leads in, he is prepared to evade the predictable counter right hand that will -- and does -- come from Matthews, and while ducked down, Matthews grabs hold of his opponent's back. Unable to capitalize on this position, the two separate, and Akman tries to walk his adversary down but does not land anything of note. While the Swede is advancing, he is not landing many if any strikes. Matthews swings wildly, forcing Akman to dodge the attack, and Matthews tries to grab hold of Akman again. With ten seconds left, Akman pulls for a guillotine, but it is not close as the final horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Matthews (30-27 Matthews)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Matthews (30-28 Matthews)
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Matthews (30-27 Matthews)

The Official Result

Jake Matthews def. Rostem Akman via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Justin Tafa vs. Yorgan De Castro

Round 1

Kicking off the pay-per-view main card is a heavyweight scrap between two newcomers where someone's "0" has to go, as Tafa (3-0, 0-0 UFC) greets de Castro (5-0, 0-0 UFC) in the center of the cage. De Castro makes his debut by taking a huge risk, walking out to "Till I Collapse" by Eminem, and he appears unafraid of the "Eminem Curse." Trying to keep control of this 530-pound contest, among the heaviest in modern UFC history, is referee Jim Perdios. The two men touch gloves, and Tafa immediately stings de Castro with a short right that hurts him. De Castro clinches up, throws a few short punches on the inside, and then breaks away to sink in a loud body kick. The Aussie pushes forward once again and clinches, working the body with several right hands. Tafa stays heavy on his opponent, but when de Castro pulls Tafa's head down in a Thai plumb, Tafa backs off. Tafa cracks de Castro with a short shot, backs away and bull rushes him; this is a huge mistake. "The Mad Titan" drops the hammer in the form of a monstrous right hand that looks like it was charged by the Power Stone, and Tafa is out cold before he hits the canvas. The crowd is shocked, sitting in stunned silence. What a massive knockout.

The Official Result

Yorgan de Castro def. Justin Tafa R1 2:10 via KO (Punch)

Luke Jumeau vs. Dhiego Lima

Round 1

Like several other fighters on the card tonight, Jumeau (13-4, 2-1 UFC) will be representing City Kickboxing, as he faces Lima (14-7, 3-5 UFC) from American Top Team Atlanta. Our referee for this bout is Marc Goddard. The two men rush out to touch gloves, and Lima starts to circle out and sneak in a few lefts to the body. Jumeau tries to counter one of Lima's lunging left hands, but to no avail. Jumeau digs a stern right leg kick, and Lima takes it without flinching. The Brazilian throws back with a leg kick, and Jumeau lifts his leg up to take some of the sting out of it, so Lima throws another. Jumeau leaps forward with a right, but it misses, and Lima tries to counter over the top and falls short. Another low calf kick for Lima scores, and the lead leg of Jumeau is already starting to redden up halfway through this opening round. Seeing the success of this kick, Lima slaps another in, and Jumeau is starting to react when these kicks come his way. Jumeau replies with one, and as Lima comes in with a body shot, he takes a scrape to the left eye. Goddard halts the action, and Lima mentions his vision is a little blurred, so Goddard calls in the doctor. After taking a moment to clear up and get checked, the fight resumes and the crowd applauds. Lima swings hard with a leg kick and Jumeau lifts his leg up, not wanting to eat any more of those effective strikes, but Lima comes back with one and lands it. As Lima capitalizes on his successes and tries to sting his opponent with another, Jumeau just misses with a counter right hand. "The Jedi" comes forward with strikes, but Lima blocks them and replies with a left on the chin. With one last leg kick offering from Lima, the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Lima
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Lima
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Lima

Round 2

Jumeau kicks off the round with a body kick, and then he follows up with two hard punches. Lima nails the Kiwi with a leg kick, whose leg gives out for a moment. Although Jumeau returns to his feet, as he backs away when Lima comes forward, he falls again. Lima jumps into the guard of his opponent, lands a few strikes, and then stands back up to let Jumeau get back up and presumably take more leg kicks. "The Jedi" tries to force a body kick, but Lima catches it and tosses him to the cage floor. Jumeau gets back up, and Lima pushes hard against him in the clinch, before they break apart. Lima leaps forward with a left that grazes off Jumeau's chin, and then plants one more low kick on to the damaged left leg of Jumeau. As Jumeau tries to counter, the Brazilian ducks out of the way just in time. Lima is prepared for the counter that will come from Jumeau after a leg kick, so he throws one and dips out of the way before getting hit. Lima is making ground beef of Jumeau's leg, who switches stances after getting hurt. Jumeau crashes in and tags Lima with an uppercut, sending Lima off balance. The Kiwi unloads a salvo of punches, and Lima survives the assault only to land a right of his own, and proceeds to drag Jumeau down. Lima stays heavy on top, raining down a few punches, and as Jumeau gets back up, the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Lima
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Lima
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Lima

Round 3

Touching gloves a final time, Lima immediately goes after that lead leg, digging one more in that makes Jumeau grimace. Trying to close the distance, Lima dings his adversary with a few shots that make "The Jedi" back off. Although Jumeau is now on the offensive, Lima keeps a high guard up and blocks most of the offense coming his way. Starting to go for broke, Jumeau charges in with a looping right that Lima ducks, and Lima makes him pay with another harsh leg kick. The kicks to the lead leg continue to come in one by one, and as the two men come together, Lima pursues a takedown. Digging deep for a single leg takedown, Jumeau stands strong and pushes Lima away. "The Jedi" cracks Lima with a right hand, and Lima counters with two resounding hooks that make Jumeau stumble backwards. The Kiwi shakes it off and goes after Lima, chasing his man down with a big left that Lima sees coming from a mile away. Lima easily ducks that winging hook and drops down for a single, before switching to a double, but Jumeau stuffs them and breaks away. Perhaps too little, too late, Jumeau goes after a few leg kicks on the way in, and as he swings wildly, Lima dances out of harm's way until the final horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Lima (30-27 Lima)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Lima (30-27 Lima)
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Lima (30-27 Lima)

The Official Result

Dhiego Lima def. Luke Jumeau via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergey Spivak

Round 1

Two heavyweights seeking to get back in the win column are up next, featuring the entertaining Tuivasa (9-2, 3-2 UFC) from Australia clashing with Moldova's Spivak (9-1, 0-1 UFC), with the latter looking for his first UFC win. The referee in charge is Steve Perceval. Touching gloves, Tuivasa immediately searches for a jab before kicking the legs out from underneath the Moldovan. Allowing Spivak to get back to his feet, Tuivasa fires another hard leg kick before launching an uppercut that just misses. A big right hand scores for Tuivasa, and Tuivasa digs a low leg kicks that Spivak uses to take the Aussie to the canvas. "Bam Bam" walks up the cage and gets to his feet, and tries to hit Spivak with a knee on the break. Tuivasa sinks in another low leg kick, and Spivak is unsuccessful on the counter straight right. Tuivasa steps in with a thudding elbow, and Spivak eats it and tries to return fire with one, but he misses. Trying to go for a hip toss, Spivak gets Tuivasa down briefly, but Tuivasa leaps back to his feet and snaps in another leg kick. "The Polar Bear" uses the kick opportunity to take the fight back down, and he hops into half guard before pursuing a scarf hold choke. Tuivasa flails and rolls out of the position, before getting back to his feet much to the delight of the crowd. The Aussie tries to throw a massive right hand, but is way off the mark, and Spivak grabs his larger opponent and hip tosses him back down. Back to the head lock position, Tuivasa is laughing as his opponent as the choke tightens up. Tuivasa is in real danger, but he grits it out and pushes away to stand back up. This does not last for long, as Spivak takes Tuivasa back down once again. Sitting in half guard instead of side control, Spivak rides out the rest of the round on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Spivak
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Spivak
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Spivak

Round 2

Surprisingly, this fight made it to the second round, and it opens with a winging right hand from Spivak that Tuivasa shrugs off. Spivak sets up a jab into a right, and then chains that into a takedown that awards him with half guard quickly. As Tuivasa stands back up, he eats a knee on the way up, but he pays one right back to Spivak. The Aussie sits down on a right hand, and then backs off Spivak with a straight left hand. The Moldovan steps in to clinch, and tries to throw Tuivasa like he did repeatedly in the first round. Tuivasa is wise to this, and steps out of the position, although Spivak clubs him with an uppercut on the break. Spivak shoots for a low double leg takedown and hits it, getting right to side control before easily taking mount. Dropping down some short elbows, he cuts Tuivasa with one that immediately starts to bleed into the Aussie's eyes. Raining down punch after punch, Tuivasa decides it is in his best interest to punch off his back instead of defend himself. Spivak uses this opportunity to hop over to side control, where he quickly snatches up an arm-triangle choke, and it is tight. Tuivasa tries to defend it by turning into it, but this does not help, and within seconds he loses consciousness, forcing Perceval to stop the fight. With this huge win, Spivak earns his first UFC victory and does so by becoming the first fighter to submit a top-15 ranked Tuivasa.

The Official Result

Sergey Spivak def. Tai Tuivasa R2 3:14 via Technical Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke)

Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker

Round 1

In our co-main event, two top-15 lightweight strikers come together as proud New Yorker Iaquinta (14-5-1, 9-4 UFC) locks horns with Kiwi finisher Hooker (18-8, 8-4 UFC). Staying cool, Iaquinta walks out to "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3, perhaps more famously known as the theme song from "The Sopranos." The referee for this intriguing lightweight matchup is John Sharp. With a touch of gloves, they back away and Iaquinta circles out to find the range of his lengthier opponent. Hooker throws a low leg kick, and Iaquinta fires back over the top and misses, allowing Hooker to score another calf kick in rapid succession. The American fakes a takedown and tries to throw a right, but Hooker does not fall for it. Iaquinta sinks a left body kick, and Hooker replies with a left hand counter. The leg kick works again for Hooker, who hurts Iaquinta with it, and then stings him with a straight right that makes Iaquinta falter. "Raging Al" recovers, but one more calf kick from Hooker makes the American fall down. Hooker lands an inadvertent groin kick, but he catches the leg and shouts for the ref to not stop the fight. Iaquinta takes the fight down, but Hooker hammers him on the side of the head with elbow after elbow, until Iaquinta spins out. Hooker snatches hold of Iaquinta's back, and locks in a body triangle while fishing for a rear-naked choke. The American defends it well, using both hands to control one wrist. Iaquinta explodes out of the position, and gets back to his feet, where he immediately takes another ruthless low leg kick. Iaquinta switches stances, and after returning to orthodox Hooker kicks his leg out again. Iaquinta pops back up and tries to chase Hooker down, but it is to no avail. Hooker tries for a head kick that is blocked, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Hooker
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Hooker
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Hooker

Round 2

Round 2 begins with Hooker setting up the jab, snapping his opponent's head back. Iaquinta tries to counter with a looping left hand, and he catches Hooker at the end of it, but Hooker wears it well. Hooker continues to hammer that lead calf with kick after kick, and Iaquinta is not checking it but is resorting to switch stances. Iaquinta tries to feint his way into a head kick, but Hooker ducks away easily. Another leg kick trips up Iaquinta as he tries to shoot for a takedown, and Iaquinta struggles to get to his feet, showing that it is seriously compromised. Iaquinta practically has to use an Imanari roll to set up a takedown, and Hooker is nowhere to be found. Luring Hooker into a slugfest, "Raging Al" clubs Hooker with a right hand that surprises the Kiwi. As Iaquinta tries to switch back to orthodox to continue his striking success, he absorbs another bad leg kick and is forced to change to southpaw. Iaquinta shoots in for a takedown, but Hooker stuffs it and forces Iaquinta to the ground briefly. Relentless on his attempt, he gets Hooker to his knees, but Hooker turns him around and grabs him from behind. Iaquinta shakes him off and trades with Hooker, and the Kiwi tags him with a right hand that drops Iaquinta. Hooker dives down to swarm him with punches. With seconds to go, Iaquinta tries for an ankle lock, and Hooker shakes his finger as the time expires.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Hooker
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Hooker
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Hooker

Round 3

Touching gloves for the last time, Hooker opens up with right hand that clips the chin of the American, before going to the body. As Hooker throws a leg kick to hurt the opposite leg of Iaquinta, "Raging Al" comes back over the top to counter. Iaquinta, in a stance he does not traditionally fight out of, is forced to leap forward with strikes to close the distance. He does this successfully to an extent, tagging Hooker on the chin with a long right. Hooker is ready to counter, and stings Iaquinta with a left elbow. Iaquinta fires a kick to the body that lands with an audible thud, and Hooker walks through it to crack with a few right hands. Iaquinta shoots for a takedown that is well out of range, and Hooker backs away to throw a head kick that is loudly blocked. Iaquinta scores with a right, and before he can follow it up, Hooker is out of the way. The Kiwi keeps his jab flowing, disrupting the advancement of Iaquinta repeatedly. Any time Iaquinta tries to switch stances to set up strikes, Hooker threatens with a leg kick. Iaquinta, frustrated and taking shots that are bloodying him up worse and worse, crashes forward while ignoring strikes to try to land something bigger. Hooker kicks the leg out from Iaquinta again, but Iaquinta wears it well and continues to stalk down his opponent. Hooker flicks out the jab again and again as the American comes at him, and the time expires to end the round. Providing Hooker wins, it will be his first by decision inside the Octagon after nine victories, and only his second on the scorecards in his career.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Hooker (30-27 Hooker)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Hooker (30-27 Hooker)
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Hooker (30-27 Hooker)

The Official Result

Dan Hooker def. Al Iaquinta via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

UFC Middleweight Title Fight:
Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya

Round 1

At long last, we have reached our headlining bout, a middleweight title unification match between champ Whittaker (20-4, 11-2 UFC) and unbeaten interim titleholder Adesanya (17-0, 6-0 UFC). Something's got to give in this one, as Whittaker has never lost as a middleweight, while Adesanya has never lost, period. Referee Marc Goddard will oversee this highly anticipated marquee matchup, and fasten your seatbelts, because we are underway! Whittaker opens up with a kick to the knee right out of the gate, and he chases Adesanya back to the fence with punches. Whittaker throws a few more stomping kicks to Adesanya's lead leg, reminiscent of his rematch with Yoel Romero. Whittaker darts in with a left, and then just misses with a huge right hand. He then connects with a straight left, and follows up with a right hook to the chest of the Nigerian. As Adesanya tries to set up a jab, Whittaker is ready to counter with a looping right hand. Adesanya kicks Whittaker in the side and pushes him back, but Whittaker comes right back with a left as Adesanya sticks his jab out. Whittaker whiffs with a head kick, and Adesanya clinches in while the two exchange. Whittaker accidentally pokes Adesanya in the eye, causing a brief pause as Adesanya wipes his face on Goddard's sleeve. The action resumes, and Whittaker fires off a leg kick followed by a head kick that is again short. Whittaker dives forward with a superman punch, and then cracks Adesanya with a leg kick that turns him around. Whittaker goes after another kick to the knee, and Adesanya whips a head kick out of nowhere that Whittaker barely blocks. The two men throw head kicks that just miss the mark, and Whittaker is sitting down on his strikes while Adesanya is more content to touch him. Whittaker clips Adesanya with a right hand, but Adesanya rolls with it to avoid the damage. The two clash together, only to push off, and in the waning seconds Adesanya clubs Whittaker with a right hand that sends Whittaker crashing to the canvas. Whittaker is potentially saved by the bell, as the round ends a split-second later.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya
Cole Shelton scores the round: 10-9 Adesanya

Round 2

Round 2 begins, and Whittaker appears no worse for wear, as he immediately comes after Adesanya with jabs and then a big right hand that spins Adesanya around. "The Last Stylebender" turns away and avoids the brunt of the strikes, staying just out of the way as Whittaker blitzes forward with combinations. Adesanya rolls out of the way of another big right from Whtitaker, and a right hand counter from Adesanya hurts Whittaker again and bloodies him up. Whittaker blocks a head kick, and he is trying to mask it well but he could be on wobbly legs. Whittaker takes a moment to gather his thoughts and presses forward with another combination, but Adesanya dodges and scores a solid leg kick. A left hook from Whittaker scores, but he is unable to follow it up. Whittaker finally is able to land a head kick, and Adesanya eats it and shakes his head. Whittaker tries to throw a few kicks up top, and Adesanya is well out of range now. The two trade huge punches, and like the first round, Adesanya is ready with a powerful counter. Taking a solid straight right from Whittaker, "The Last Stylebender" lands a left hand flush on the chin, sending Whittaker sprawling to the canvas. Smelling blood, Adesanya chases his man down and hammers him with punches until Goddard has seen enough. Adesanya has done it! He has unified the belts and become the undisputed middleweight champion, snapping the lengthy win streak of "The Reaper" and doing it with style points.

The Official Result

Israel Adesanya def. Robert Whittaker R2 3:33 via KO (Punches)
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