‘I’m going to be trying to kill him’
ROBERT Whittaker hasn't fought inside the Octagon for over a year, but the middleweight champ is ready to come out guns blazing on Sunday.
Going up against highlight machine Israel Adesanya, Whittaker didn't mince his words when talking about what he was going to do to his challenger.
"Trust me when I say this, when I get in there, I'm going to be trying to kill him. There is no 110 percent, there's just me at 100 percent trying to kill him," Whittaker said.
Whittaker's middleweight crown will be on the line against the undefeated prodigy in Adesanya.
The New Zealand star Adesanya has not been shy of talking the talk in the lead up to the fight, claiming he's getting paid more than his opponent.
Adesanya, the interim middleweight titleholder, has been vocal with his criticisms of Whittaker.
The highly anticipated bout will be Whittaker's first fight in his home country in almost three years and the first UFC world title defence by an Australian.
"It's a milestone for my career, it's something I've always wanted to do," Whittaker said.
"I'm given the moment to get out there defend my title and I'm just making history."
He was scheduled to fight in Melbourne in February this year but health issues forced a rethink - so the 28-year-oldhas put himself through the hardest preparation of his career. "On the back of what happened last time I just jumped back into training with a fervour," Whittaker said.
"I focused on my strength, my conditioning, focused on my health, on my fitness and just honestly, I've thrashed myself thiscamp.
"All my loads are managed with spreadsheets that my performance coach (Fabricio Itte) handles, and in terms of intensity of sessions and the work rate was just way way more."
UFC 243 EVENT INFORMATION
When and where is it: Sunday, October 6 at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium
Start time: Preliminary fights start from 9:30am with the main card at 1pm (AEST)
How to watch: The main card will be broadcast on Fox's Main Event
UFC 243 FIGHT CARD
Robert Whittaker vs Isreal Adesanya (UFC middleweight championship)
Al Iaquinta vs Dan Hooker (lightweight)
Tai Tuivasa vs Sergey Spivac (heavyweight)
Luke Jumeau vs Dhiego Lima (welterweight)
Justin Tafa vs Yorgan De Castro (heavyweight)
Jake Matthews vs Rosern Akman (welterweight)
Callan Potter vs Maki Pitolo (welterweight)
Jamie Mullarkey vs Brad Riddell (lightweight)
Megan Anderson vs Zarah Fairn dos Santos (women's featherweight)
Nadia Kassem vs Ji Yeon Kim (women's flyweight)
Khalid Taha vs Bruno Silva (bantamweight)