UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland Fight Card, Predictions, & Odds

min read
Brazil's Alex Pereira, right, fights Nigeria's Israel Adesanya during the third round of a middleweight bout title.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Oct 26, 2023, 10:50 PM
  • The middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland will headline UFC 293.
  • Israel Adesanya is the heavy betting favorite at -600.
  • Sean Strickland is the overwhelming betting underdog at +425.

The sixth defense of Israel Adesanya’s (24-2) UFC middleweight title will headline UFC 293 this Saturday, Sept. 9, inside the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, as he faces the No. 5-ranked middleweight contender Sean Strickland (27-5). Adesanya comes in as the heavy betting favorite in UFC odds at -600 against Strickland, the overwhelming betting underdog at +425.

Adesanya and Strickland are both coming off victories in their previous fights, with the former reclaiming his title against rival Alex Pereira with a second-round knockout in April 2023, while the latter scored a second-round TKO win over Abus Magomedov. The defending champion’s better record and more stacked credentials have made him the consensus bet to come away with a victory against the challenger.

Additionally, Strickland lost to Pereira and Jared Cannonier, who Adesanya both defeated in their matchups. The challenger also doesn’t hold a win against any of the current fighters in the top-four rankings, which makes him the clear-cut underdog. This is Strickland’s first title opportunity in his nine-year UFC career.

Israel Adesanya Recent Fight Results

Since his UFC debut in February 2018, Israel Adesanya has dominated the competition by winning his first six fights and earning the title shot. “The Last Stylebender” beat Robert Whittaker in their title match in October 2019 to become the undisputed king of the 185-pound division and fended off five straight challenges from top contenders to retain his belt.

Adesanya briefly moved up in the light heavyweight division in March 2021 to challenge Jan Blachowicz for his 205-pound title but received a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of the “Polish Power,” which was Adesanya’s first MMA loss. The 34-year-old’s other loss in his record was courtesy of Pereira in their first UFC meeting in November 2022, but he has since avenged that defeat.

Sean Strickland Recent Fight Results

Sean Strickland has been fighting in the UFC since 2014 and competed in various weight classes. He competed in the welterweight division for 10 fights and accumulated a record of seven wins and three losses before moving up to the middleweight division in November 2020. After coming up to the 185-pound division, “Tarzan” climbed his way to the top-five rankings.

The 32-year-old has won seven of his nine bouts, beating the likes of Brendan Allen, Krzysztof Jotko, Uriah Hall, Jack Hermansson, and Nassourdine Imavov. Strickland’s two losses in the middleweight division were from Pereira (first-round knockout in July 2022) and  Cannonier (split decision in December 2022).

Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland: Tale of the Tape

Israel AdesanyaSean Strickland
Reach80 inches76 inches
Leg Reach44.5 inches41.5 inches
Fighting StyleKickboxingStriker
Finishing Rate70%57%

Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland: Fight Analysis

Israel Adesanya will have all the advantages in physical attributes over Sean Strickland, as he is three inches taller at 6-foot-4 compared to Strickland, who is 6-foot-1. He also holds a four-inch longer reach at 80 inches versus Strickland’s 76 inches and a three-inch longer leg reach at 44.5 inches against Strickland’s 41.5 inches.

Record-wise, the defending champion still has the upper hand with only having two losses, while the challenger already sustained five defeats. Additionally, Adesanya has a higher finishing rate at 70% compared to Strickland, who has 57%. In terms of style, both are feared and relentless strikers.

The significant strike output from both fighters is evident in their fighting techniques, with Strickland landing more strikes per minute at 5.86 compared to Adesanya’s 3.84, however, Adesanya is more accurate at 49% versus Strickland’s 41%. In the defensive end, “The Last Stylebender” absorbs fewer strikes per minute at 2.88 (57% rate) against “Tarzan’s” 4.28 (62% rate).

In the grappling department, Strickland dominates all the major categories, with one takedown average per 15 minutes (compared to Adesanya’s 0.06), 64% takedown accuracy (versus Adesanya’s 14%), 84% takedown defense (against Adensanya’s 77%), and 0.22 submission average per 15 minutes (in contrast to Adesanya’s 0.17).

Strickland can utilize this considerable lead in grappling to neutralize Adesanya’s incredible striking accuracy and power, but he has previously shown that he can make the mistake of choosing to engage on the feet with a high-level kickboxer, similar to what Strickland did against Pereira, where he received a devastating knockout loss.

If Strickland decides to repeat the same strategy in this upcoming title fight against Adesanya, the result might be the same for him. Even if he chooses to grapple with “The Last Stylebender” to try and submit him, he won’t have much success, as the defending champion has already fought and stopped some top-class grapplers and will try to prevent any submission defeat.

Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Israel Adesanya.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.