Israel Adesanya will face Sean Strickland in UFC 293 in Sydney, Australia. The situation is a losing deal for Israel Adesanya, although he chose his opponent himself.
Sean Strickland is a fighter who according to many experts, is not a deserving candidate for the middleweight title. Even Israel said himself, Sean has nothing to lose but everything to win.
In the event of UFC 293, Adesanya will start his second campaign as the middleweight champion with a dream to overtake the middleweight GOAT Anderson Silva. Previously, he lost to Alex Pereira, and later in UFC 287, the middleweight champ regained his title with an unforgettable Knockout.
It’s true that Strickland has very little to offer against Adesanya but in MMA things change very quickly. In UFC 292, most of the MMA experts doubted Sean O’Malley against Aljamin Sterling. Later Sean became champion by second-round knockout and proved doubters wrong.
Now let’s look at the fights in the card and make some predictions:
UFC 293: Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland Main Card
Tyson Pedro vs. Anton Turkalj
Tyson Pedro is fighting on his own soil and this match-up will favor Pedro very much. Although he lost his last fight against Modestas Bukauskas in UFC 284, it is time he can bounce back.
Turkalj’s defense is questionable and not strong enough in striking. Pedro will love it if Turkalj stands in his pocket and comes forward with a telegraphed attack.
Justin Tafa vs. Austen Lane
Both fighters already faced each other in UFC Jacksonville back in June. In 29 seconds of the first round, Austin poked Justin Tafa’s eye and Tafa was not able to continue.
New Zealand’s Justin Tafa can claim Sydney as his home soil and will receive home crowd support in this fight. The fight is 50-50 in my opinion but my pick will be Austen Lane due to his height and reach advantages.
Manel Kape vs. Felipe dos Santos
The 22-year-old Brazilian fighter has a perfect record of 7-0-0 and a bright future ahead. He recently missed out contender series opportunity as his opponent missed weight. Now he is a replacement fighter for Kai Kara-France against Manel Kape.
Currently, Kape is ranked 10th in the Flyweight division. He was assigned to fight Kai kara-France but Kai missed the fight due to a concussion.
This will be a tough fight for Felipe as Kape is very experienced, hits hard, and moves swiftly. This will be a difficult challenge for Felipe than his previous opponents.
Tai Tuivasa vs. Alexander Volkov:
Fans’ favorite Tai Tuivasa’s stock was hit hard recently after back-to-back losses against Ciryl Gane and Sergei Pavlovich. According to Draft King, he is the underdog (+200) against Volkov.
Volkov could be a good return fight for Bam Bam but Volkov is a very technical and experienced fighter in the division. The possibility of winning for Volkov is undeniable. The height and reach advantage will help Volkov a lot in the octagon.
Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland:
Israel Adesanya is one of the smartest fighters in the octagon that UFC has ever seen. His stand-up, kicks, movements, and ground games are too much for Sean Strickland.
Adesanya is a longer, faster, and more improved fighter than Strickland. In MMA, we cannot ignore a fighter completely, hence Strickland can win the fight with a Knockout if he can land a punch on Adesanya. Though it seems very hard. Let’s see what happens.