Ufc 293 | franchise sports media
Photo Credit: UFC

New FSM Preview: UFC 293 – Adesanya vs Strickland


The UFC returns to the land down under for a night of action at UFC 293!

UFC 293 – Adesanya vs Strickland

Saturday night at the Qudos Bank Arena, UFC 293 will mark Australia’s second major UFC event in 2023. After the massive success of UFC 284, headlined by Aussie native and featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski, it only makes sense for the UFC to return to the outback with a card headlined by another UFC superstar with Australian ties.

With Saturday night’s card full of Australian fighters from the prelims to the main card, UFC 293 will be an exciting environment that will likely produce some unforgettable fights. In the main event of the evening, the middleweight champion faces his next challenger as he continues to build his case as the greatest to ever fight in his division, as Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya defends his title against 5th ranked middleweight, Sean Strickland.

UFC 293 – Adesanya vs Strickland is going to be a war

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UFC 293 – Adesanya vs Strickland, there is no love lost between them

UFC 293 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: UFC

Of all the main events that have headlined UFC pay-per-view cards in 2023, it’s hard to say that the headlining bout at UFC 293 stands out as one of the most enticing matchups we’ve seen this year. Even though the bout will feature one of the most exciting names on the UFC roster, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (24-2), the match doesn’t seem like anyone’s first choice. It certainly wasn’t Adesanya’s or the UFC’s original plan for “The Stylebender’s” next title defense to feature the crude and problematic Sean Strickland (27-5). 

After plenty of build-up was made for a grudge match between Adesanya and number one contender, Dricus Du Plessis, at UFC 290 following their tense post-fight faceoff following “DDP’s” victory over Robert Whittaker, the MMA world was excited to see a fight between the two African-born middleweights. But due to an injury, Du Plessis was forced to turn down the opportunity and forced the UFC to match Adesanya with the only top-ranked fighter in the division who had not already been starched by the middleweight champion, resulting in this Saturday night’s main event.

Even though Strickland wasn’t the opponent most UFC fans were hoping to see for Adesanaya’s next fight, the 5th ranked middleweight still stands as a capable opponent for the champion. From 2018 to 2021, Strickland was on a six-fight win streak and was in consideration for a title shot before he was knocked out in the first round by Adesanya’s long-time rival, Alex Pereira, at UFC 276. The main event at UFC 293 will also be worth watching as it potentially will be the first fight that begins an exciting stretch of bouts going into the next chapter of Adesanya’s reign.

Barring a huge upset this weekend in Sydney, Australia, Adesanya would set up multiple exciting options for his next opponent following a victory on Saturday night. The first option would be to reignite the hype for the grudge match between Adesanya and Du Plessis and set up the fight that Adesanya has stated “would be the most important fight in sporting history.” The bad blood between the two middleweights would potentially create an ugly build-up that UFC fans love to watch.


UFC 293 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: UFC

If Adesanya and the UFC have lost interest in Du Plessis, the second option is just as exciting, if not more than Du Plessis, but would depend on the results of the next major UFC card in October. In Abu Dabi, Adesanya’s former opponent, Paulo Costa, will face one of the most anticipated stars on the UFC roster in Khamzat Chimaev in the co-main event at UFC 294. Adesanya has stated his interest in this fight and teased his appearance at the event, potentially hinting at another post-fight faceoff with the winner of the match.

If Costa were to secure the victory, it would set up another fight in which we see Adesanya lap the division and face an opponent he has already defeated. If Chimaev were to continue his undefeated streak and defeat Costa, it would set up a title fight between the potential greatest middleweight in the history of the division and the next boogyman of the UFC, who has been hyped up since he first entered the UFC in 2020.

Before any of these options can become a reality, Adesanya must first focus on the task at hand. In his 11th consecutive title fight, Adesanya will face a dangerous opponent with more to gain than he does to lose. The upset victory for Strickland would not only make him the new middleweight champion, but it would also catapult his stardom and create absolute havoc within the 180-pound division.

If the fight goes as predicted, it would affect Strickland very little to lose in a title fight he is already considered a significant underdog going into. Either way, both men will be prepared to go to war in their main event title fight and will surely provide plenty of excitement for the middleweight division going forward.

UFC 293 – Adesanya vs Strickland takes place Saturday night.

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-Griffin Kemp – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Griffin on Twitter @Griffinkemp51

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