UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland Preview & Best Bets

A UFC Middleweight Title bout headlines UFC 293 as the champion Israel Adesanya defends his belt against No. 5 ranked Sean Strickland.

  • Date: Saturday, September 10, 2023 | Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Qudos Bank Arena – Sydney, Australia | TV: PPV

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If He Dies, He Dies

No. 6 ranked heavyweight Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa faces No. 7 Alexander “Drago” Volkov. Tuivasa enters after dropping back-to-back fights, getting knocked out by Ciryl Gane and Sergei Pavlovich. Volkov is coming in off two straight wins, picking up TKOs over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Romanov.

Volkov is five inches taller and has a five-inch reach advantage. Tuivasa has been an all-or-nothing fighter over his last seven bouts, either winning by knockout or getting knocked out. Bam Bam averages an impressive 1.38 knockdowns per 15 minutes. However, Volkov lands 0.79 more significant strikes per minute and absorbs 1.46 fewer. The Russian is the more active grappler, but expect the majority of the fight to be a striking battle.

There is a slight chance Tuivasa can land a knockout punch at +300, but the safer outcome is Volkov by decision at +370.

Heavyweight Rematch

Justin “Bad Man” Tafa takes on former NFL defensive end Austen Lane after an accidental eye poke ended their June bout. Before that contest, Lane was riding a six-fight win streak, all finishes (five KO/TKO, one submission). Meanwhile, Tafa had two straight knockouts over Harry Hunsucker and Parker Porter.

Lane is six inches taller and has a six-inch reach advantage. Tafa averages 1.2 knockdowns per 15 minutes to Lane’s zero. Tafa is the more active striker, landing 5.02 significant strikes to Lane’s 4.33. However, Tafa absorbs 4.28 more. Neither fighter grapples much.

Tafa is the favorite at -235, but this fight should be pretty close to a pick’em. Take Lane outright at +186.

UFC Middleweight Championship Main Event

Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland

  • Odds to Win: Adesanya -750 | Strickland +490
  • How Will Fight End: KO/TKO -120 | Submission +1100 | Decision +105
  • Will the fight go the distance? Yes +112 | No -146

Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya is fresh off winning his title back from Alex Pereira, knocking him out in April, after being knocked out last November. Over his previous two fights, Sean “Tarzan” Strickland picked up a win at light heavyweight against Nassourdine Imavov and another over Abusupiyan Magomedov in his return to middleweight.

Adesanya is three inches taller and has a four-inch reach advantage. Stylerbender has more one-punch knockout power, averaging 0.45 more knockdowns per 15 minutes. Strickland is the more active strike, landing 5.86 significant strikes per minute to Adesanya’s 3.94. However, Adesanya absorbs 1.4 fewer.

Strickland could look to take the fight to the ground, averaging one takedown per 15 minutes, but will have to contend with the champ’s 77 percent takedown defense rate.

At -750, there is no value better on Adesanya outright, but +115 to win by KO/TKO is more palatable.

UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland Betting Card

  • Volkov by decision (+370)
  • Lane to win (+186)
  • Adesanya by KO/TKO (+115)

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