The southern hemisphere is about to become a vortex of full-throttle MMA action. Sydney’s iconic Qudos Bank Arena is the battlefield for UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland, slated for September 9th. This card offers an explosive clash between middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya and the audacious Sean Strickland, whose bravado is as fierce as his fists.

But before we dissect the main and co-main events, let’s not overlook an undercard teeming with gritty Australian fighters. Admittedly, the undercard might not boast high-ranking matchups, but it has “entertainment” written all over it. For those who’ve been craving for the comfort of traditional UFC start times after back-to-back weeks of early cards, you’re in luck. The early prelims fire up the octagon at 6:30 p.m. ET, warming up the audience for the heart-pounding bouts to come.

Now, let’s talk about curveballs. Remember Dricus Du Plessis? Yes, the fighter that most pundits had penned down as the next contender for the middleweight belt. Well, he’s nursing an injury, and so the UFC doors swung wide open for Sean Strickland. It seems like the universe listened to Strickland’s incessant banter, who got himself in line for the gold. He may be 2-2 in his recent outings, but as they say, “Strickland pretty much talked his way into this fight, and the pre-fight press conference could make all of it worth it.” So, don’t underestimate the power of a persuasive tongue.

And if that doesn’t whip you into a frenzy, Sydney’s own Tai Tuivasa is revving up to erase his consecutive losses as he faces the towering Russian, Alexander Volkov, in the co-main event. Volkov comes off first-round knockouts in his last two battles, confirming his position as a lethal striker. In contrast, Tuivasa is a human highlight reel. “Tai is all-action, all the time, so there’s a solid chance that this one doesn’t make it to the scorecards.” Could this be the bout that steals the evening’s thunder?

Diving deeper into the main card, we have a light-heavyweight bout that promises fireworks. Tyson Pedro and Anton Turkalj are both keen to right their recent wrongs. While they may be almost identical in physical stats, their fighting styles are like chalk and cheese. Pedro packs a striking prowess that can cause headaches, while Turkalj is a grappling genius. Then, heavyweights Justin Tafa and Austin Lane are on a collision course for the second time. Their first encounter ended controversially, which only adds spice to this sequel. In terms of metrics, these two are almost mirror images, making their clash an unpredictable spectacle.

Let’s not forget the debutant, Felipe Dos Santos, an undefeated fighter set to throw down with the battle-hardened Manuel Kape. Hailing from Brazil, Dos Santos boasts the physical edge, and given that he’s making his UFC debut, his metrics are an enigma, adding a layer of intrigue to this flyweight matchup.

To recap, UFC 293’s main card boasts:

  • Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland for the Middleweight Title
  • Tai Tuivasa vs. Alexander Volkov in a Heavyweight bout
  • Manel Kape vs. Felipe dos Santos in Flyweight action
  • Justin Tafa vs. Austen Lane in another Heavyweight clash
  • Tyson Pedro vs. Anton Turkalj in the Light Heavyweight division

On the preliminary side, Carlos Ulberg and Da Un Jung, Jamie Mullarkey and John Makdessi, among others, round out what promises to be a thrilling night of fights.

As if UFC 293 weren’t enough, the MMA gods have blessed us with another delectable event. Coming hot on its heels is UFC Fight Night: Grasso vs. Shevchenko 2 on September 16th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. A strawweight title bout between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko headlines the card, a sizzling rematch that promises to leave fans at the edge of their seats.

Whether you’re tuning in for the captivating trash talk, the local Aussie flavours, or the bone-crushing action, UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland promises to be a night to remember.