UFC 293: Main Event Prediction
UFC 293 MAIN EVENT PREDICTION – One of the most active champions in UFC history takes center stage again this weekend in his neck of the woods. A win here pretty much clears out the division with the exception of one fighter.
Israel Adesanya, fresh of winning his title back from Alex Pereira, looks to continue building his legacy and mark another top 10 fighter off his list.
Sean Strickland marches into this title fight on a two-fight winning streak and a mixed reaction to him earning this title shot.
Will Adesanya’s technical striking be the difference maker? Or will Strikland put his classic pressure style to use and break the champion? Read on to see how these middleweights match up and who leaves Sydney as the UFC middleweight champion.
After successfully defending his belt five times in the span of 2.5 years, Adesanya met a foe from his kickboxing days who thwarted his attempts of continuing his middleweight unbeaten streak. Alex Pereira stopped Adesanya in the fifth round of a fight Adesanya was winning, ultimately snatching the title from him.
Adesanya exacted his revenge back in April by knocking Pereira out in the second round of their matchup and now it seems like everything is back to normal at the weight class. Adesanya currently has wins over 5 of the top 7 middleweights on the roster, two of them he has defeated twice. The only ones remaining are Dricus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland. Hence, this being his next matchup.
Related: UFC Paris: Main Event Prediction
We know what makes Adesanya great. His ring awareness, his footwork, and ultimately his technical striking attack. He is amazing at executing gameplans and taking his opponents out.
The way he crippled Paulo Costa before finishing him was impressive. Traps are a big part of his game which he springs so effortlessly. His improving takedown defense mixed with his ability to cut angles and pivot off on angles helps him keep fights in a realm that he feels the most comfortable.
I think beating Pereira last time around has allowed him to graduate to an even higher level and I can’t wait to see what he showcases this weekend.
The rise of Strickland’s popularity has been a thing to behold. Before the covid era, he had suffered a pretty bad motorcycle injury and sat out for exactly two years.
During that layoff he decided to move up to middleweight, which ended up being one of his best decisions to date. He was 7-3 as a welterweight until that point and now he finds himself as a 7-2 middleweight with one of his losses being a controversial split decision loss and the other with him getting knocked out in a number one contender fight against Alex Pereira.
It’s not just his in cage performances that have garnered him a big following, but it’s his genuine, don’t-give-a-crap attitude that seems to resonate with the masses.
In the cage, the man really backs up all how outlandish talk. He loves throwing down in the pocket and walking his opponents down in hopes of breaking them and putting them away.
His performance against Abus Magomedov is a perfect example of what he can do at his best. However, even in a five-rounder against Nassourdine Imavov earlier this year, he showed how his style can be difficult for most fighters to keep up with. Volume, forward movement, and not giving his opponents a moment to breathe. It’s a smothering and exhausting style to deal with.
As much as I love Strickland’s style, I just don’t see it in this matchup. I get why Adesanya is such a massive favorite, the stylistic clash is perfect for Adesanya’s style. He’ll walk into his traps and take the damage until a shot puts him out. That’s why I think Pereira was able to finish him. It’s why I think Adesanya can finish him too. I’m not going to advocate for paying -650 straight up, but I’d specifically hoe in on the KO prop for Adesanya.
I expect him to work the lead leg of Strickland and then try to start hiding high kicks behind punches. One of them will eventually catch Strickland and put him away.
Israel Adesanya via KO +115