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UFC 293 start time, full fight details | Adesanya vs. Strickland

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back in Sydney, Australia, later TONIGHT (Sat., Sept. 9, 2023) to stage UFC 293 from inside Qudos Bank Arena and streaming on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV). Headlining the event will be a Middleweight title fight as division champion, Israel Adesanya, defends his belt against Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s co-main event, Tai Tuivasa will battle Alexander Volkov in a Heavyweight affair.

What’s Hot:

Adesanya violently took back the 185-pound throne from his bitter rival, Alex Pereira, knocking him out at UFC 287 (see it again here). In doing so, he earned his first combat win over “Poatan” in four tries. But, another thing he did was come closer to completely cleaning out the 185-pound division. He has already defeated most of the Top 10 (some of them twice) so new challenges are rare. Driccus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland are a couple of the only fresh and intriguing matchups who await “The Last Stylebender,” but if and when he gets through them, there really isn’t a whole lot out there for him at 185 pounds. But, let’s not go and put the cart before the horse. While Strickland may not be your traditional No. 1 contenderhe’s ranked No. 5 — he has the opportunity to turn the division on its head.

Strickland is coming off a win over Abusupiyan Magomedov, his second straight victory, previously defeating Nassourdine Imavov. Prior to that, however, the loud-mouthed 185-pound contender had lost two straight fights, so you really couldn’t picture “Tarzan” fighting for the title with that run. But, that’s what happens when the true No. 1 contender fumbles his chance. Nevertheless, Strickland has a golden opportunity here and the two men do share some sort of bitter history. Whether or not it’s enough to get people to pony up the big bucks for the PPV offering is another story.

Strickland isn’t shy about getting into barn-burners, but when you are facing a world-class striker like Adesanya, that simply isn’t smart unless you are as accomplished as him in the striking department ... and Strickland is no Pereira. “Tarzan” has grit and determination on his side, but if he gets careless and sloppy, the fight could be over before it even begins. Strickland can always go the grappling route, which really is his best path to victory. But, if he aims for that strategy he has to get close enough while avoiding the four-inch reach advantage “Izzy” will enjoy. For Adesanya, getting a win over “Tarzan” gives him another notch on his crowded belt and could very well get him closer to a permanent move to 205 pounds. Of course, if he does that he will once again have a familiar shadow looming over him ...

What’s Not:

Carlos Ulberg continues his slow and steady rise up the Light Heavyweight division, winning four straight fights inside the Octagon after coming up short in his debut against Kennedy Nzechukwu back in 2021. But, I am just not feeling the matchup against Da Woon Jung because “Sseda” has lost two straight. But, that’s not a reflection on just how skilled he is because he started his UFC career 4-0-1. That means this is a high-risk, low-reward type fight for Ulberg since he is on a roll and will be facing a struggling fighter who can easily put his lights out since 11 of his wins have come by way of (technical) knockout. I simply don’t like the matchmaking here.

Original Card vs. Actual Card:

Adesanya was originally set to defend his belt against Dricus Du Plessis, but the fight fell through after Du Plessis opted to pass on the huge opportunity to rest and heal from his previous fight over Robert Whittaker. As a result, Strickland was awarded the opportunity of a lifetime to face “The Last Stylebender.” Sam Patterson came down with undisclosed medical issues and was forced out of his bout against Nasrat Haqparast, who will now face Landon Quinones in a Lightweight bout on the undercard.


Casey O’Neill suffered an undisclosed injury and was forced out of her fight against Viviane Araujo. Stepping in to take her place was Jennifer Maia, however, that fight will now take place at an upcoming “Fight Night” event on Sept. 16, 2023. Also, Kai Kara-France was set to battle Manel Kape in a pivotal Flyweight showdown before he was bounced from the fight with a concussion. Stepping in for him is UFC newcomer, Felipe dos Santos.

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!

New Blood:

dos Santos answered the call to face Manel Kape on short notice after Kai Kara-France was forced out with a concussion. He will now have the opportunity to shine on the main card of a PPV event in his UFC debut. He is undefeated at 7-0-1 with five finishes to his credit. In what is likely a first, all eight of his fights have taken place in eight different fight promotions and UFC will be his ninth. He hopes to break that streak by earning a place on the roster, and if he can upset Kape in his debut, it will go along way in ensuring he will have a home with the promotion. After stumbling out of the gate by losing his first two fights inside the Octagon, Kape has really turned it around and is currently enjoying a three-fight win streak and is coming off a unanimous decision win over David Dvorak.

Kevin Jousset and Kiefer Crosbie will make their UFC debuts against one another in a Welterweight matchup. Crosbie has the experience edge in this fight after spending three years with Bellator MMA, racking up a 4-3 record during his stint. He is currently on a two-fight win streak and is coming off a win over long-time UFC veteran, Alex Oliveira, under the Rise Fighting Championship banner this past April. Jousset, meanwhile, made his professional debut in 2019 and has managed to earn a respectable 8-2 record, which includes winning his last three bouts. One of his two losses came against current rising sensation, Jack Della Maddalena, back in 2019.

Former Cage Fury Fighting Championship (CFFC) Welterweight champion, Charlie Radtke, will bring his talents to the UFC Octagon for the first time to face off against Mike Mathetha, better known as “Blood Diamond.” Radtke is currently on a four-fight win streak, which includes the final defense of his 170-pound strap against Raheam Forest. As for “Blood Diamond,” he has yet to win a fight under the UFC umbrella, going 0-2 in his lone two bouts. He has been out of action for over a year now, so if he wants to hold on to his spot on the bloated UFC roster he needs a win here or he could be on the chopping block.

Landon Quinones accepted the big opportunity to make his UFC debut on short notice to face off against Nasrat Haqparast. Quinones has won five straight and holds an impressive 7-1-1 professional record. The former Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) 155-pound champion is a talented prospect who can make an impact right away, earning finishes in six of his seven wins. Haqparast, meanwhile, earned a huge win over John Makdessi in Sept. 2022, snapping his two-fight losing streak and earning him another shot inside the Octagon.

How The ‘Prelims’ Look:

We have discussed most of the “Prelims” action in the previous section, so let’s dive in to review the remaining undercard bouts.

In the 155-pound division, Jamie Mullarkey is eying a trip back to the winner’s circle after losing via technical knockout (TKO) to Muhammadjon Naimov two months ago. Mullarkey has an even 4-4 record so far with the promotion, and while that may be good enough to hold a roster spot, it simply won’t get the job done if he ever wants to crack the rankings. He has a big test in front of him in the form of long-time UFC contender, John Makdessi. “The Bull” is coming off a loss to Nasrat Haqparast, his second defeat in three fights.

In the Featherweight division, rising contender, Jack Jenkins, eyes his tenth straight win and will attempt to remain undefeated inside the Octagon (2-0) when he takes on Jose Mariscal, who is currently enjoying a four-fight win streak himself. Mariscal came out impressive in his UFC debut, defeating Trevor Peek just two months ago, and now looks to ride that wave of momentum against Jenkins. Both men have a percentage finish rate of around 65-percent, so there is a good chance this fight finishes early.

Shane Young has been unable to garner much momentum since making his UFC debut back in 2017. He came up short in his first-ever fight inside the Octagon after running into current Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, losing via unanimous decision. He did manage to win his next two fights, but has since lost three straight. Should he lose his fourth in a row when he takes on Gabriel Miranda, it could be the end of the UFC road for him. Miranda needs a win, as well, because he threw up a dud in his UFC debut back in Sept. 2022, losing to rising 155-pound contender, Benoit St-Denis, via second round technical knockout.

Who Needs A Win Badly:

Tyson Pedro is one of those fighters who has the potential to be a contender, but he never really put it all together to make a move. He is currently on the outside of the Top 15 looking in, and is coming off a loss to Modestas Bukauskas. He is just 2-3 over his last five appearances, and is looking to right his ship against Anton Turkalj. Speaking of which, the Contender Series alum did start off his UFC career at 8-0, but since he was called up to the majors he has been unable to swing the bat. That’s because he dropped his first two UFC fights against Jailton Almeida and Vitor Petrino. One more loss for him could send Turkalj back to the minors. And despite Pedro’s struggles, he has the skill-set and experience to hand his foe his third straight loss and send him packing.

Interest Level: 7/10

In the co-main event of the evening, Tai Tuivasa will attempt to snap his two-fight skid when he goes toe-to-toe against fellow hard-hitting big man, Alexander Volkov. Let’s face it, Tuivasa likely won’t get cut if he loses his third straight because he has a decent following and is entertaining as all heck win, lose or draw. But, a win would be nice for “Bam Bam” to get him back on track. The power-punching Aussie did start his UFC career with a bang with three straight wins before losing three in a row. He was able to enjoy his infamous shoey celebration again after racking up five straight wins which nearly got him to a title fight after knocking out Derrick Lewis. But, he was the stopped in his tracks by Ciryl Gane (see it), who went on to face Jon Jones in a vacant Heavyweight title fight. Tuivasa followed up that defeat by losing to Serghei Pavlovich via first round knockout in just 54 seconds, which aided Pavlovich in earning a No. 1 contender spot. The hole keeps getting deeper for “Bam Bam,” but he can slowly start to make his way out of it with an impressive win over “Drago,” who is coming off back-to-back first-round technical knockout wins over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Romanov.

Volkov was at one point title contention early in his UFC career after racking up five straight wins, but his infamous knockout loss at the hands of Derrick Lewis halted all of the momentum he had doing for himself. Since then he hasn’t been able to replicate that magic he enjoyed early in his UFC career despite a 6-3 record. That’s because he can’t seem to string together more than two wins at a time before he loses another. He has a golden opportunity here to get his first three-fight win streak in five years.

In further 265-pound action, Austen Lane and Justin Tafa collide in a big man showdown that has a huge possibility of ending early. The two initially fought this past June but the fight ended in a no contest (NC) after Lane inadvertently poked Tafa in the eye less than a minute into the fight. Of his 12 wins, Lane has stopped 11 of his opponents via strikes while all six of Tafa’s wins have ended via knockout, four in the very first round. In short, don’t blink.

Enjoy the fights!

Full UFC 293 Fight Card:

UFC 293 PPV Main Event On ESPN+:

185 lbs.: UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland

UFC 293 ESPN+ PPV Main Card (10 p.m. ET Start Time):

265 lbs.: Tai Tuivasa vs. Alexander Volkov
125 lbs.: Felipe dos Santos vs. Manel Kape
265 lbs.: Austen Lane vs. Justin Tafa
205 lbs.: Tyson Pedro vs. Anton Turkalj

UFC 293 Late ‘Prelims’ Undercard On ESPNN/ESPN+ (Start Time 8 p.m. ET):

205 lbs.: Da Woon Jung vs. Carlos Ulberg
145 lbs.: Jack Jenkins vs. Chepe Mariscal
155 lbs.: John Makdessi vs. Jamie Mullarkey
155 lbs.: Nasrat Haqparast vs. Landon Quinones

UFC 293 Early ‘Prelims’ Undercard On ESPN+ (Start Time 6:30 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: Blood Diamond vs. Charlie Radtke
145 lbs.: Gabriel Miranda vs. Shane Young
170 lbs.: Kiefer Crosbie vs. Kevin Jousset

*Fight card, bout order and number of fights remain subject to change.*

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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