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Israel Adesanya identifies Sean Strickland’s ‘X Factor’ coming into UFC 293 title fight

While Adesanya promises to cut through Strickland like a hot knife through butter, he still respects his opponent coming into their Australian showdown.

Josh Taylor v Teofimo Lopez Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

UFC 293 is less than a month away on September 9th, and it finally has a main event.

Sean Strickland will take on Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title in Sydney, Australia. It’s a bit of a consolation prize after we almost got Izzy vs. Dricus Du Plessis in a battle to determine who the ‘real’ African champion would be.

Unfortunately, Du Plessis had no interest in rushing his title shot and will wait to battle “The Last Stylebender” sometime in 2024. Instead, No. 5 ranked Strickland will step in to face Adesanya. Some are saying Sean has no chance. Some are saying Sean knows he has no chance. But Israel Adesanya is taking his new Sydney opponent very seriously.

“I never underestimate anyone,” Adesanya said in a new video on his YouTube channel (via MMA News). “I’m very aware of the dangers that he brings and the stuff that he is really good at. So I don’t take this lightly.

“You guys have seen me, seen I’ve been working. I’m not underestimating him, but I want to make this look easy — I’m gonna make this look easy, because of the work that we’re doing right now and the way I’m working right now.”

As for what Adesanya sees in Strickland’s game?

“He’s got a nice guard,” Izzy said. “He’s got a good jab. Also, to be honest, he’s just crazy. That’s the X factor. But again, so am I. I’ve taken this very seriously. A man with nothing to lose and everything to gain is a dangerous man.”

You can’t deny Sean Strickland is crazy, but his crazy seems to come out during interviews and promotional opportunities. In the cage he keeps things pretty tight ... except when he decides to strike with a world class kickboxer like Alex Pereira instead of take advantage of his weakness on the ground. That’s not exactly a good kind of crazy. We’ll see how it serves him in Australia.

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!

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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