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‘Honorary Australian’ Sean Strickland still hoping to fight Israel Adeanya: ‘Getting the fight is the hard part’

Sean Strickland hopes to be the next man up in the Middleweight title picture.

UFC 293 is rapidly approaching as the promotion returns to Sydney, Australia on Sept. 9, 2023. Since the event’s announcement, the expectation has been for the current UFC champion, Israel Adesanya, to headline. At UFC 290, Dricus Du Plessis solidified himself as the clear No. 1 contender, finishing Robert Whittaker with strikes in round two (watch highlights).

Unfortunately for Du Plessis, his coach, Morne Visser, confirmed on Instagram this past weekend (July 30, 2023) that “Stillknocks” fractured his foot before his Whittaker bout. Therefore, opening the door for Strickland to potentially take Du Plessis’ place at UFC 293.

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“We’re working it,” Strickland told The Schmo. “We’re trying. I’m trying to do it for you guys. I’m trying to make it happen for you guys. Then once the fight happens all I gotta do is fight ‘Izzy’ and that’s the easy part, right? Getting the fight is the hard part, winning the fight is the easy part.”

Strickland and Adesanya were their closest to fighting in July 2022 when they both fought at UFC 276. Adesanya successfully defended his title by unanimous decision against Jared Cannonier on the night, while Strickland suffered a first round knockout loss to Alex Pereira (watch highlights).

Pereira went on to dethrone Adesanya before Adesanya won the title back at UFC 287 earlier this year (April 8, 2023). Strickland, on the other hand, held down his No. 6 spot in the official UFC rankings, rebounding after a Cannonier split decision loss with two solid performances against Nassourdine Imavov and Abus Magomedov (watch highlights).

“That little Chinese s—t, we’re trying to make it happen, I’m trying to represent for America, I’m trying to represent for Australia,” Strickland said. “I’ll tell you what, Australians. I am more Australian than f—king ‘Izzy.’ ‘Izzy’ is a Chinese man. I ride motorcycles, I ride boats, I like sex with hot women, ‘Izzy’ likes sex with dudes — nothing wrong with that, it’s a personal preference. But I’m an American but I’m like Crocodile motherf—king Dundee, you guys. I carry guns on me, I carry knives. I consider myself an honorary Australian.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 293 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPNN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 293: “Adesanya vs. Strickalnd” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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