UFC: Israel Adesanya locks in headline bout with Sean Strickland for UFC 293 title defence in Sydney

  • 09/08/2023
Israel Adesanya.
Israel Adesanya. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwi UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his title against Sean Strickland at UFC 293 in Sydney on September 10.

'The Last Stylebender' was originally slated to take on Dricus Du Plessis, after the South African beat Robert Whittaker in a No. 1 contender bout at UFC 290 in July.

But an injury suffered during that bout means Du Plessis will be unable to make the short turnaround to back up in Australia for the UFC's first visit 'down under' since the Fight Night in Auckland back in February 2020.

Sean Strickland.
Sean Strickland. Photo credit: Getty Images

With the majority of the division booked for fights or having already lost to Adesanya, No. 9 ranked Sean Strickland (27-5) has stepped up to fill the vacancy for the headline bout.

Fresh off a TKO win against Abusupiyan Magomedov, the brash American should provide the ideal foil for Adesanya in the pre-fight hype department.

Inside the Octagon, it will be a different story, where he'll start as a heavy underdog against the UFC's No. 5 ranked pound-for-pound fighter.

Adesanya last fought back in April, when he avenged his defeat to nemesis Alex Pereira to reclaim his middleweight crown.

His addition provides the final piece of the puzzle for the card, which features Aussie heavyweight larrikin Tai Tuivasa against Alexander Volkov in the co-main event.

It will also feature a host of NZ and Australian fighters, with Adesanya's City Kickboxing teammates Kai Kara-France, Carlos Ulberg, Shane Young and Blood Diamond already confirmed to take part.