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UFC 293: Adesanya vs Strickland - Sep 9 🇦🇺


wandshogun09

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A Strickland main event but not at the Apex? Is this real life? We’re going back Down Under to the land of koala bears, Sheilas and Harold Bishop. It’s 293…

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PPV MAIN CARD
Israel Adesanya©️vs Sean Strickland - Middleweight Title 

Tai Tuivasa vs Alexander Volkov 

Manel Kape vs Felipe Dos Santos 

Justin Tafa vs Austen Lane

Tyson Pedro vs Anton Turkalj 

ESPN PRELIMS 
Carlos Ulberg vs Da Un Jung 

Jack Jenkins vs Chepe Mariscal 

Jamie Mullarkey vs John Makdessi 

Nasrat Haqparast vs Landon Quinones  

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 
Mike Mathetha vs Charles Radtke

Shane Young vs Gabriel Miranda 

Kevin Jousset vs Kiefer Crosbie 

 

Yeah not in love with this at all. Definitely one of the weakest PPV cards in a while this. That original plan of Izzy vs DDP would’ve been better, no doubt. But the quick turnaround from July means we couldn’t get that on. Or Volk vs Topuria either, which obviously would’ve taken the quality of this card up several notches. The fact they’ve got Jack Della Maddalena fighting the week after this instead of on this card is odd as well. Then there’s been some pullouts, no Whittaker etc. Not ideal. Whatever. This isn’t the final bout order either. I’ll update as we go.

 

 

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Israel Adesanya vs Sean Strickland headlines then. Almost wretched just typing that. Fucking Apex Boy, who’s 2-2 in his last 4 fights, in a PPV main event title match. In fairness though, the UFC weren’t exactly flush with options so I get it. All signs were pointing towards Izzy defending against Dricus Du Plessis here. Would’ve been a bigger fight and DDP would’ve certainly been much more deserving of this shot, he just beat Robert Whittaker in July. But July-September was always a bit optimistic and a quick turnaround and DDP picked up an injury and wasn’t gonna be ready in time. Adesanya still wanted on this card and didn’t wanna wait for DDP so here we are.

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Adesanya reclaimed the Middleweight crown back at UFC 287 in April, finally exorcising the demon who’s been stalking him through combat sports for years on end. It took him four tries but he finally got that elusive win over Alex Pereira and took back the gold.

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Crazy series of fights. With their head-to-head scoreline tied at 1-1 in MMA, and 3-1 to Pereira overall, I think everyone thought we’d be seeing them clash again at some point. But oddly, Izzy immediately shut that talk down after winning the belt back. In a way I can understand why he never wants to see Pereira again. But it feels a bit weak that he gets one win after four tries and is acting like the rivalry is over and he’s won. As it turned out, Pereira decided to move up to 205 anyway so it’s done and dusted for the foreseeable future regardless. Adesanya’s overall resume at 185 speaks for itself. Wins over Pereira, Whittaker x2, Romero, Costa, Cannonier, Vettori, Brunson, old Anderson Silva etc. He’s already beat pretty much everyone in his generation of Middleweights. Now looking at the landscape of the division, the most interesting challengers on the horizon now are this DDP grudge match and Khamzat Chimaev depending how he looks at 185. Then there’s this utter pillock…

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‘Psycho’ Sean. A man whose fights are usually so dull to watch that he’s been on the roster since 2014 and nobody gave a single fuck about him until he started talking bollocks and being ‘edgy’ to appeal to the depressingly large and cunty section of the MMA fanbase which laps that shite up. If there’s a controversial issue, you can bet this jelly brain has some goofy shit to say about it. Whether it’s about guns, gays, trans issues, he even went out of his way to point out that a young female fighter who died in a car crash “wasn’t that good”. Why? Either this is the real him, an absolute bellend, but he hid it until a couple of years ago. Or it’s a ‘character’ he’s adopted because it’s the only way he can make people notice him. Pathetic really. Even if your fighting style isn’t particularly entertaining, if the only way you can stand out is to act like a Sherdog forum poster plucked straight out of 2006 then it’s actually pretty sad. X-Pac heat for me. I’m at the point where I’m not even particularly invested in seeing him get battered. I just want him to disappear.

He’s not a bad fighter. There’s worse in the division. But he’s usually arse to watch unless Pereira is sparking him in hilarious fashion. His last fight against Abus Magomedov was probably the first time I’ve seen him win an exciting fight. But even then, Magomedov looked like hell on wheels for a few minutes then faded horribly. Strickland deserved credit for weathering the storm and stopping him but it wasn’t the kind of win that would warrant a title shot if circumstances didn’t force the UFC’s hand here. Fuck, I remember a lot of people being baffled why Magomedov was even main eventing at the Apex! It was a weird pairing.

Strickland’s fixated on Adesanya carrying the Chinese flag for one of the Pereira fights in his Kickboxing days now for some reason. Seems like he’s latched onto that and it’s gonna be what most of his schtick centres around going into this one 🥱 

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“I always call him the Chinese champion, right? I’ll tell you why. Because Izzy’s words himself, he only did it for money. So is it more of a Chinese champion or Chinese slut? What would you call me if I were to go raise a Chinese flag like years back and then you ask me about supporting your motherland? You’d call me a slut. I’m trying to represent for America. I’m trying to represent for Australia. Because, I’ll tell you what Australians, I am more Australian than fucking Izzy. Izzy is a Chinese man. I ride motorcycles, I sail boats, I like sex with hot women. Izzy likes sex with dudes. Nothing wrong with that Izzy, it’s personal preference. But I’m like Crocodile Dundee. I carry guns on me, I carry knives. I consider myself an honorary Australian. I’m more of an Australian than the Chinese man, Izzy.

I’ve never really watched an Izzy fight. I’ve watched clips of it. Pay me money and I’ll fight him for an hour straight. I need to go dick to dick, nose to nose, and I need to have a war. Maybe we takedown, maybe we don’t” - Sean Strickland

What the fuck is he banging on about? Just a rambling mess. I’ve seen a few comments with people saying they can’t wait for the press conference and stuff but I reckon it’s gonna be absolutely rotten. Strickland chats bollocks non-stop and Adesanya’s trash talk is cringey as fuck as well. The one thing I was dreading about Adesanya vs DDP was that you knew the buildup was gonna get ugly. But at least the actual fight was interesting with DDP having a knack for keep finding ways to win and coming in with momentum. With this Strickland thing, you know the buildup is gonna see both take the low road but the fight itself is probably gonna be lacklustre as well.

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What do you make of it? I get that it wasn’t the UFC’s first choice and I read a quote from Izzy that they were hesitant to even book this fight. But I don’t know, I’m not really feeling it. There’s a decent chance Adesanya goes out there and smokes him but there’s just as good a chance of it being a complete stinker as well. Izzy’s last fight was his most exciting in a long time but I think the threat Pereira brought and the history there brought the best out of Izzy. The truth is, his previous few fights before that weren’t much good to watch and Adesanya basically just coasted and did the bare minimum. I can see this playing out similarly but I hope I’m wrong. The undercard is pretty fucking weak on paper so the last thing the Aussie fans need is the main event being a snoozer. Apparently the show was pretty much sold out before a main event was even announced. No doubt Strickland fans will be claiming the sellout as proof he’s “a draw” but those tickets were already sold! I’m not exactly fond of Adesanya but I hope he schools Strickland here and sends him back home to the cold, dead, empty, lifeless Apex where he belongs.

 

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Tai Tuivasa vs Alexander Volkov isn’t the worst fight they could make by Heavyweight standards but it’s piss weak as a PPV co-main event, no getting away from it. Not sure what to expect from it really. Tai’s in a bit of a slump now. He went from being on a 5 fight knockout victory streak to now being knocked out himself in back-to-back fights by Ciryl Gane and Sergei Pavlovich. He’s always a fun fighter to watch but it seems he probably peaked with that win over Derrick Lewis. Anything higher than that and he’s come unstuck in painful fashion. And this is another tough one for him. Not unwinnable, Volkov’s been stopped himself a bunch of times and Tuivasa has heavy enough hands that I wouldn’t be shocked if he plants one on Volkov’s chin and ends his night. But I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna be a third straight loss for Tai. I reckon Volkov’s size could give him issues, he’s way more experienced (this’ll be his 47th fight) and he’s more well rounded as a striker and in terms of his overall MMA box of tricks. Just more ways to win. And when he’s on, he’s a bit of a handful. He’s coming off a couple of first round TKO wins over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Fatty Romanov. Not a terrible fight or anything but, with that main event, this card really could’ve done with something a bit juicer as co-main and this just isn’t cutting it.

 

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Manel Kape vs Felipe Dos Santos will hopefully go ahead. Jesus Christ. Kape has had a horrible run of luck when it comes to opponents pulling out this year. He’s on a 3 fight winning streak but hasn’t fought since December, and it’s not for lack of trying. He’s had five opponents withdraw on him since the start of the year. FIVE! On this card he was supposed to fight Kai Kara-France, which would’ve been a fun one and a fight that really would’ve given this main card a much needed boost. But KKF is unfortunately out with a concussion. Kape’s not taken it well…

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He comes across as a twat on social media. I get the frustration here, he’s been proper fucked about with these pullouts. But concussions are nothing to play with. Anyway, Dos Santos got the call and has stepped up. Never seen him before but apparently he was meant to fight on this current season of DWCS but his fight fell through. He’s 22 years old, undefeated at 7-0-0-1 with 5 finishes. He’s a teammate of Charles Oliveira as well. Might be decent. Hopefully this one actually happens.

 

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Justin Tafa vs Austen Lane 2 in an epic Heavyweight immediate rematch the world was crying out for. In all seriousness, this makes sense. They fought in June and it only lasted a whopping 29 seconds before it was all over as a result of a nasty eyepoke. It never even got properly started so they might as well just run it back. Tafa was in a bad way…

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For some reason it took the ref and doctor ages to actually officially stop the fight, despite Tafa clearly being unable to see. I don’t know what there was to think about. As eyepokes go, this was so obviously a fight ender. Sucked for both though. This was Lane’s UFC debut and it couldn’t have been much more of an anti-climax. He’s a former NFL player, now 12-3-0-1 with all his wins coming inside the distance. Mostly knockouts. He’s 35 now so time is of the essence. Hopefully this rematch goes off without a hitch. Not expecting a great deal from it and, again, feels poor on a PPV main card but Tafa is usually good for a slobberknocker and Lane is obviously a big hitter. Hopefully it’s more of a one round bombfest than 15 minutes of plodder fodder. 

 

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Tyson Pedro vs Anton Turkalj is currently scheduled to kick off the main card. I’ve said it for pretty much every fight but, once again, this doesn’t look like it belongs on a PPV. I get putting Pedro on a main card in Australia but the matchup itself just doesn’t hit the spot, does it? A more recognisable name against Pedro would’ve been better but there aren’t many of them left at 205 these days. Pedro’s alright. Seems a really likeable guy and I think everyone was happy to see him finally get back in there after that horrific injury layoff a few years back. But unfortunately he’s just quite mediocre as a fighter. He’ll bash up the ham and eggers like Ike Villanueva and Harry Hunsucker but he struggles badly when he steps up a level or two. He somehow got wins over both Paul Craig and Khalil Rountree early in his career and I think that gave people a false sense of his ability but he’s dropped off a cliff since. Even before the injury he was losing to Latifi, OSP and having all kinds of problems with last legs Shogun. He lost to Modestas Bukauskas on points last time out. Little bit hazy on Turkalj. He’s Swedish and nicknamed ‘The Pleasure Man’ for some reason. Filth. He’s 27 years old, 8-2 with 7 finishes and he’s gone 0-2 so far in the UFC. In fairness though, he was fed to Jailton Almeida and Vitor Petrino. The matchmakers did him zero favours.

 

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Carlos Ulberg vs Da Un Jung will probably be entertaining enough. It’s not setting the world alight but it stands out a bit on this undercard to me. Ulberg came into the UFC with some hype on him after a big KO win on DWCS. He made his UFC debut in early 2021 but immediately got derailed by Kennedy Nzechukwu. Ulberg was actually winning the fight before Nzechukwu shocked him with the come from behind KO. He’s got himself well back on track now though, winning his next 4 fights and finishing 3 of them in the first round. He’s 8-1 now with 6 knockouts. Not sure how far he can go but he’s doing alright for himself so far. Trains at City Kickboxing as well so he’s around the likes of Adesanya, Volkanovski etc all the time. Jung’s OK as well. Don’t remember a ton about him but I vaguely recall him being generally quite fun to watch. He’s coming off a couple of losses here so being matched up with Ulberg now feels a bit harsh. Hopefully it’s a good scrap because this card needs them.

 

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Jack Jenkins vs Chepe Mariscal is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** for Sydney. Might seem like a bit of a strange choice at first glance but 1) there really wasn’t much to choose from on this card and 2) I’ve got a good feeling we’re gonna get something wild out of these two. Jenkins is Aussie so you know the crowd are gonna be invested. That always helps. But even that aside, I’ve liked watching him so far as well. Made his Octagon debut at UFC 284 in February on the undercard of the big Makhachev vs Volkanovski superfight. I went in with no expectations and I really enjoyed his fight with Don Shainis. He got the decision then got another points win in June over Jamall Emmers that I remember thinking he probably should’ve lost but it was another solid fight. He’s 12-2 now, on a 9 fight win streak and just seems like one of those guys who, with the right dance partner, is gonna be a lot of fun to watch. And I think Mariscal is gonna match up perfectly with him for some fireworks.

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That was our first look at Mariscal. Made his UFC debut in June against Trevor Peek and they had a fucking batshit slugfest. It was an ugly fight, nothing pretty or technical about it. But Jesus Christ it was bags of fun. It was on the prelims of a Fight Night so if you skipped it and you’ve got Fight Pass, I’d recommend you go back and give it a watch before this show. One of those stupidly entertaining brawls that you don’t see so often these days. Mariscal won just on account of being slightly less reckless and a bit more effective and accurate in the exchanges. Peek’s a bit shite, in my opinion. But he’s tough and relentless as fuck so gets by on that. Mariscal just got the better of him over 3 rounds of an absolute dogfight. Complete throwback fight but it was actually one of the fights I’ve probably enjoyed most so far this year. Anyway, Mariscal’s 30 years old and 14-6-0-1 with 9 finishes. He’s had mixed results but he’s fought some stiff opposition and two of his losses were against Bryce Mitchell and Gregor Gillespie. He beat Pat Sabatini in 2018 as well. I certainly don’t see UFC gold in his future but if that Peek fight was typical of what we can expect out of him I hope he wins enough fights to stick around for a few years at least.

 

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Jamie Mullarkey vs John Makdessi is kind of just making up the numbers on this one. Neither are really going anywhere. Has the potential to be a fun fight for what it is though. Mullarkey isn’t great but he always comes to do battle. His barnburner with Brad Riddell on one of the past Aussie cards was nuts. One of my favourite hidden gems of the last few years. He’s coming into this fight off a vicious knockout loss to Muhammad Naimov in June though. Makdessi is surely on the home stretch of his career now. Feels like he’s been in the UFC forever. I was actually a bit surprised to see he’s still only 38. The man made his UFC debut in 2010 on the same night GSP caved Koscheck’s orbital in with jabs! He’s winding down and he’s coming off a decision loss to Nasrat Haqparast and a year on the shelf. He had a corker against Ignacio Bahamondes before that thought and just about got his hand raised. So there’s some fight left in him yet. One of those fights that means absolutely nothing but might be a pleasant surprise on the night.

 

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Nasrat Haqparast vs Landon Quinones just got slung on the card late in the day. Dunno. Haqparast’s been on the roster since 2017 now and not much about his UFC run sticks in the memory. He’s 14-5 overall now and coming off a decision win over John Makdessi on the Paris card last year. But that was a whole year ago now and before that he’d lost to Dan Hooker and Bobby Green. Never heard of Quinones but apparently he was on this latest McGregor vs Chandler season of TUF. He’s 7-1-1 and officially he’s coming off 5 wins but from what I’m reading he got subbed by Jason Knight on TUF and eliminated in the first round of the tournament. They’ve signed him anyway for some reason and here we are.

 

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Mike Mathetha vs Charles Radtke. Not familiar enough with either of these two. I’ve seen Mathetha AKA ‘Blood Diamond’ before. He’s a City Kickboxing guy, from New Zealand and he’s 3-2 with 2 finishes. 35 years old as well so a very late starter. He’s gone 0-2 so far in the UFC, losses to Jeremiah Wells and Orion Cosce. So you’d think this is his last chance. Think it’s a case that he was only signed in the first place because of his connections to Izzy and Volk. But you’ve got to assume this’ll be his last shot. Radtke is making his Octagon debut here. He’s 33 years old with a record of 7-3 and he’s won his last 4 fights. Nothing really stands out on his record, other than a decision loss against recent TUF finalist Austin Hubbard back in 2018. Nothing fight really but the crowd should be into it and ‘Blood Diamond’ is probably fighting for his spot on the roster so it might be better than I’ve made it sound.

 

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Shane Young vs Gabriel Miranda might be alright. Not counting the days or anything though. Young’s in desperate need of a win here. He’s coming off 3 straight losses and hasn’t tasted victory since Feb 2019. That was the night Adesanya fought Anderson Silva, for fuck’s sake! It’s been a while. He’s only 30, in theory he’s got time to turn things around. But I don’t see it. He’s 13-7 now and the most notable thing on his record is probably that he went the distance in a losing effort against Volkanovski in 2017. Miranda’s 16-6 with all 16 wins being finishes. 15 of them by submission. He made his UFC debut on the first Paris card a year ago and lost to Benoit Saint-Denis by TKO. I vaguely recall that being a fun scrap though so hopefully more of the same here.

 

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Kevin Jousset vs Kiefer Crosbie has been added just a couple of weeks out from the show. Both men making their UFC debuts. Need Sherdog’s help for these two. Jousset is from New Zealand, another City Kickboxing guy. He’s 30 years old and has a record of 8-2 with 4 knockouts. He’s coming off 3 wins and actually fought Jack Della Maddalena back in 2019 but lost on a doctor stoppage. Crosbie is a name I’ve definitely heard before but don’t think I’ve ever actually seen him fight. He’s Irish, trains out of SBG, 33 years old and 10-3 with 7 finishes. He had a hit and miss run in Bellator, which is probably where I’ve seen his name but did TKO ex UFC mainstay Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira in a round in his last fight in May for a promotion called Rise FC. I’ll give this a look.

 

Shrimp on the barbie etc 😕

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Edited by wandshogun09
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3 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

You gotta think Adesanya deals with Strickland quite comfortably. Strickland's march forward style seems made for Izzy.

Oh, absolutely. This fight should end in the same way as Strickland's fight with Pereira ended. I'm just saying that there's a part of me that would love for the Apex Warrior to hit that lucky shot and nab the win. Mainly for shits and giggles. He wouldn't hold the belt beyond one defence most likely.

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Depends what you get out of watching MMA. Strickland in general does nothing for me so him as champion would just be arse. Literally nothing to enjoy about it. I don’t really get why him repping the UFC as champion would be entertaining in any way. It’s not like an absolute cunt repping the UFC would be a novelty, look at their bastard president! 

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Been so busy the past month I’ve hardly caught any mma but no plans this weekend so I’ll be watching. 
 

I really want to see the Izzy v DDP fight next which means the Strickland is going  to knock Izzy out cold. It will only be right if the rematch is in Stricklands back yard, the Apex. 
 

Overall, it’s not a great ppv but hopefully the crowd will bring it to life and give it that extra bit of energy. 

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