September 7, 2023
In a night filled with electrifying moments and surprising outcomes, UFC 293 delivered its fair share of shocks and awe at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. The headline act saw the MMA world left in disbelief as Sean Strickland, hailing from the United States, defeated New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya to claim the coveted UFC Middleweight championship.
The UFC 293 main event unfolded over five intense rounds, ultimately concluding with Strickland earning a unanimous decision victory (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) over the previously dominant Adesanya. Strickland’s remarkable performance left fans and pundits alike astounded, with his relentless aggression and precision striking keeping Adesanya on the back foot for much of the fight.
Throughout the championship clash, Strickland continually pressed the action, making Adesanya work tirelessly in reverse. The fourth round featured a flurry of exchanges, but it was Strickland who dictated the pace and showcased his brilliant offensive skills, forcing Adesanya into a defensive stance.
In a post-fight interview, Strickland expressed his surprise at the victory, saying, “He’s (Israel) beat the majority of my friends pretty easily. I was doubting myself at times, but the fans in Australia motivated me. In that fourth round, when I heard you guys yelling, it fueled me. I want to thank you, Australia.”
In the co-main event of the evening, Russia’s Alexander Volkov solidified his resurgence in the Heavyweight division, earning a second-round submission win over Australia’s Tai Tuivasa. Volkov’s technical prowess was on full display as he utilized long jabs and kicks to dismantle Tuivasa. Despite Tuivasa’s valiant efforts, Volkov managed to secure a rarely-seen Ezekiel choke in the second round, forcing Tuivasa to tap out.
Volkov, speaking about his victory, mentioned, “I knew he was tough, throwing so many leg kicks…but you have to know that I’m from Kyokushin karate, and these kicks are like our air. I learned that Ezekiel Choke when I was really young, so I want to thank (my teacher).”
Third Match for Volkov
Volkov’s third consecutive stoppage victory has reignited talk of his prospects in the Heavyweight title picture.
Aside from the main and co-main events, UFC 293 offered a series of thrilling matchups, including Manel Kape’s unanimous decision victory over Felipe dos Santos, Justin Tafa’s first-round TKO win against Austen Lane, and Tyson Pedro’s first-round TKO win over Anton Turkalj.
Carlos Ulberg secured a submission victory with a rear-naked choke in the third round against Da Woon Jung, and Chepe Mariscal claimed a verbal submission win due to an arm injury over Jack Jenkins in the second round.
The night also saw victories for Jamie Mullarkey, Nasrat Haqparast, Charlie Radtke, Gabriel Miranda, and Kevin Jousset, all of whom showcased their skills and determination in the Octagon.
With UFC 293 now in the books, the MMA world eagerly awaits what’s next for these fighters and the evolving landscape of the UFC’s Middleweight and Heavyweight divisions.