Israel Adesanya is scheduled to fight Sean Strickland at UFC 293 in what would be his 6th defense of the middleweight title. It is also his first defense in his second reign. His 5 consecutive defenses were put to a halt by Alex Periera at UFC 281.
Adesanya won back the title in the rematch at UFC 287. The win was Adesanya’s first win over Alex Periera in combat sports history as he was 0-2 against Periera during their time at Glory Kickboxing.
Davis Jr. believes Sean Strickland’s striking could challenge Adesanya
Danny Davis Jr., the striking coach of Sean Strickland, was seen in the UFC 293 embedded episode 2, praising Strickland’s toughness in striking. The striking coach under head coach Eric Nicksick doesn’t pay heed to analysts who claim that the champion has a significant advantage over the challenger in the striking realm.
Strickland is known as a volume striker than a power puncher. Even though he defeated Abusupiyan Magomedov by TKO due to punches in his recent outing inside the octagon, his last TKO finish was against Brendan Allen at a catchweight (195 lbs) on November 14, 2020. Adesanya on the other hand has finished the likes of Robert Whitaker, Alex Periera, Derek Brunson, and Paolo Costa in the UFC.
UFC 293 came to fruition very quickly and fans are bewildered at seeing a card that doesn’t have much to offer. When compared to the next pay-per-view event headlined by Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira, UFC 293 is like a fight night event. Nevertheless, the star power of “The Last Stylebender” is not to be taken very lightly. The betting odds suggest a knockout victory for the champion, but Strickland has the tools to spring an upset.
Adesanya has already come forth and said that Sean Strickland is a dangerous fighter due to his mentality. Being a short-notice replacement for Dricus Du Plessis, Strickland doesn’t have to fear losing which is a dangerous advantage the challenger holds over the champion.
Israel Adesanya enters UFC 293 main event as Striking favorite against Strickland
The betting odds of the UFC 293 main event suggest a lopsided decision victory or a quick knockout victory for the champion. The latest Vegas odds put the champion at more than a minus 600 favorite over the plus 400 challenger. Adesanya has never been a favorite like this before.
Israel Adesanya lost the first fight against the credentialed kickboxer Alex Periera by TKO in the fifth and final round. In the rematch, the Nigerian-born New Zealand-raised fighter knocked out Periera in the second round. Sean Strickland’s loss to Alex Periera in the very first round is an interesting factor. MMA math doesn’t work but it is easy to assume why the champion is a big favorite considering their shared history with Alex Periera.
Since the loss to Israel Adesanya, Periera has moved up in weight and in his light heavyweight debut defeated Jan Blachowicz via unanimous decision. Israel Adesanya’s first attempt to become backfired when he lost to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. Periera is rumored to fight Jiri Prochazka for the vacant light heavyweight title. A win over Strickland would make the champion ponder for the double champ status once more.
What do you think of Sean Strickland’s chances against Israel Adesanya? Comment below!