MMA Preview – Israel Adesanya vs Sean Strickland at UFC 293
ISRAEL ADESANYA VS SEAN STRICKLAND FACTS
When is UFC 293? Sunday 10th September, 2023 - 01:00 (UK)
Where is UFC 293? Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, New South Wales (Aus)
Where can I get tickets for UFC 293? Click here to buy tickets for UFC 293
What channel is UFC 293 on? TNT Sports 1
Where can I stream UFC 293? TNT Sports subscribers can stream the fight online via the TNT Sports website and Discovery+
For viewers in the United States, the event will be shown live on ESPN+ and you can sign up for access as part of a Disney Bundle here!
ISRAEL ADESANYA VS SEAN STRICKLAND LOWDOWN
Israel Adesanya (24-2) does not get his fight with Dricus du Plessis, but in true Adesanya fashion, he remains active to fight another hungry challenger. He lost his middleweight invincibility against his old foe Alex Pereira (2022) at UFC 281. He got knocked out for the first time in his MMA career, but bravely stepped back out for a rematch five months later at UFC 287. He reclaimed his crown in spectacular fashion knocking the Brazilian out in the second round and now returns to make his sixth title defence.
The next hungry challenger is Sean Strickland (27-5). Less than a year ago, nobody thought he would be fighting for a title. He got brutally knocked out by Pereira and lost a split decision to Jared Cannonier last year. However, he stepped up on short notice to fight the surging Nassourdine Imavov (2023) less than a month after his fight Cannonier. He won a unanimous decision and then put on one of his best performances a couple months ago knocking out the prospect Abusupiyan Magomedov.
ISRAEL ADESANYA VS SEAN STRICKLAND PREDICTION
Adesanya is a colossal favourite for a reason. Strickland is also a striker, but the champ is lightyears ahead of him in terms technique. He will have the confidence of doing whatever he wants to Strickland, and it will take a significant lapse in concentration to lose his strap.
We all know Strickland makes up for his technique with durability and relentless pressure. His defence is also extremely effective and although he will stand square and right in front of Adesanya, he will make it hard to land something clean.
He also has wrestling in the locker, and we expect that he has learnt his lesson from the Pereira fight and will shoot in sooner rather than later especially considering this could be his only chance at gold.
However, Adesanya’s takedown defence, distance control and counter-striking could force Strickland to rethink his game plan after one shot. He will have to persistently pursue the takedown smothering the champ to have success and it is hard to see him having that patience.
We expect a slow first round while Adesanya downloads the data he needs with feints to learn the range and Strickland’s triggers. As the fight goes on, Adesanya will be in his element chewing up Strickland's legs while pounding the ribs and setting up traps to find the jaw. The less Strickland thinks, the better chance he has, but we expect a comfortable decision or late knockout for the champ.
Prediction: Adesanya via Decision
Value bet: Adesanya via KO/TKO