Preview of UFC 293: Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland Fight - Card, Odds, Prelims, and Expert Picks
In the main event of UFC 293, Israel Adesanya begins his second reign as middleweight champion by taking on Sean Strickland at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
After a dramatic late knockout loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 281, Adesanya made a strong comeback, securing a knockout victory over Pereira at UFC 287 to regain the championship. This win marked Adesanya's first victory over Pereira, following two losses to his rival in kickboxing.
Initially, it seemed that Adesanya would defend his title against Dricus Du Plessis, but Du Plessis was unavailable for UFC 293. Consequently, Sean Strickland stepped in for the title bout, riding the momentum of two consecutive wins.
Adesanya had some words for Strickland at the final press conference, stating, "He's talking all this stuff, but he should be grateful. I got him his first passport. I got him his first flight out of his country. I got him this big-money fight. He tries to act like a tough guy, but there's no danger with him. He's that idiot at the back of the class who talks over you and talks loud just to get his point across."
Strickland, making his debut in a title fight, has won his last two fights against less experienced opponents, as he struggled to secure matchups against top-five fighters due to current matchmaking. He has also trained with his arch-rival, Pereira.
While the card lacks big names and depth, there are still some intriguing matchups. In the co-main event, heavyweights Tai Tuivasa and Alexander Volkov face off. Tuivasa, who once competed for an interim title, aims to bounce back after two consecutive stoppage losses. Volkov, on the other hand, enters the bout following two knockout victories.
Additionally, Manel Kape takes on Felipe dos Santos in a flyweight matchup. Kape was originally scheduled to fight Kai Kara-France in a significant bout for the division's title implications. However, Kara-France withdrew due to a knockout in training camp, leaving Kape to contend with Dos Santos.
With a significant main event looming, CBS Sports provides live coverage of the event, including round-by-round scoring and blow-by-blow updates.
Strickland shared his perspective on seizing opportunities, saying, "Sometimes you should say no... but at the end of the day, opportunities never come when you want them to. You never wake up and say, 'Today is a great day! I'm ready for some good stuff to happen to me in life.' Generally, the people who do that are the people who are successful in life."
As the event approaches, here's a closer look at the full fight card, along with the latest odds:
**UFC 293 Fight Card and Odds:**
- Israel Adesanya (-700) vs. Sean Strickland (+500) - Middleweight Title
- Alexander Volkov (-250) vs. Tai Tuivasa (+205) - Heavyweights
- Manel Kape (-420) vs. Felipe Dos Santos (+320) - Flyweights
- Justin Tafa (-220) vs. Austen Lane (+180) - Heavyweights
- Anton Turkalj (-115) vs. Tyson Pedro (-105) - Light Heavyweights
- Carlos Ulberg (-300) vs. Da Woon Jung (+240) - Light Heavyweights
- Jack Jenkins (-205) vs. Chepe Mariscal (+170) - Featherweights
- Jamie Mullarkey (-270) vs. John Makdessi (+220) - Lightweights
- Nasrat Haqparast (-500) vs. Landon Quinones (+380) - Lightweights
- Charlie Radtke (-325) vs. Mike Diamond (+250) - Welterweights
- Shane Young (-115) vs. Gabriel Miranda (-105) - Featherweights
- Kevin Jousset (-165) vs. Kiefer Crosbie (+140) - Welterweights
Given the high-stakes main event, CBS Sports experts have provided their predictions and picks for the main card:
**Adesanya vs. Strickland:**
- Campbell: Adesanya via knockout
- Brookhouse: Adesanya via knockout
- Mahjouri: Adesanya via stoppage or decision
**Volkov vs. Tuivasa:**
- Campbell: Volkov via decision or knockout
- Mahjouri: Volkov via knockout or unanimous decision
**Manel Kape vs. Felipe dos Santos:**
- Campbell: Kape via stoppage or decision
- Mahjouri: Volkov via KO or unanimous decision
As UFC 293 approaches, these insights provide a glimpse into what to expect from the highly anticipated event.