The Best Bets for UFC 293: Adesanya vs Strickland
Jamie Mullarkey vs John Makdessi
Early in the prelims, fight fans will witness a battle of seasoned lightweights. Home crowd favorite Jamie Mullarkey (16-6, 4-4 UFC) has seen his share of highs and lows throughout his eight-fight UFC career. Coming off of a knockout loss to Muhammad Naimov, the 29-year-old will look to bounce back into the win column by besting John Makdessi (18-8, 11-8 UFC).
A UFC fighter since 2010, Makdessi is one of the longest tenured veterans in the UFC right now. “The Bull” defeated up-and-comer Ignacio Bahamondes in 2021, but fell victim to a unanimous decision loss against Nasrat Haqparast in his last fight.
Neither man is known for their incredible finishing ability, so this fight more than likely will find its way to the judges’ scorecards.
Fight Pick: Fight to Go Over 2.5 Rounds (2.5+ Rds)
Carlos Ulberg vs Da Woon Jung
To close out the prelims on ESPN+, Carlos Ulberg (8-1, 4-1 UFC) will do battle with Da Woon Jung (15-4-1, 4-2-1 UFC) in a light-heavyweight scrap. Ulberg has been on a tear as of late, scoring three straight finishes among his four-fight win streak. As for Jung, the South Korean has not found a win since 2021, losing his last two fights.
This should be a fun fight as both men have shown to be impressive and have proven to be dangerous combatants throughout their time in the UFC. All of this to say that the Ulberg Train is blitzing off the tracks and he is the pick to close out the show.
Fight Pick: Carlos Ulberg via Finish
Justin Tafa vs Austen Lane
On June 24, 2023, Justin Tafa (6-3-0-1, UFC 3-3-0-1) met Austen Lane (12-3-0-1, 1-1-0-1 UFC) in a battle of heavy-handed heavyweights. The hype for this fight quickly derailed when an unintentional eye poke would halt the fight 29 seconds into the bout. The fight ultimately would be ruled a no-contest with both man’s night ending early.
Both combatants are a finish or be finished type of fighter, as both men combine for 17 knockouts, a 94% finish rate. Someone will be stopped in this one.
Fight Pick: Fight to End via Finish
Manel Kape vs Felipe Dos Santos
Initially slated to fight Kai Kara-France in what could have been one of the more exciting fights of the night, Manel Kape (18-6, 6-3 UFC) will now face Felipe Dos Santos (7-0-0-1, 0-0 UFC).
Kape is the much more experienced fighter and with Dos Santos making his UFC debut on the main card of a pay-per-view, one can understand the moneyline spread for this fight. This one is a no brainer. Go “Starboy”.
Fight Pick: Manel Kape Moneyline
Israel Adesanya vs Sean Strickland
In the main event, the 185-lbs. throne is up for grabs as the UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya (24-2, 13-2 UFC) will look to defend his title against #5 ranked Sean Strickland (27-5, 14-5 UFC). This fight comes to fruition perhaps at the point of desperation on the matchmaking end, as the 185-lbs. division lacks a clear challenger to the “Last StyleBender” outside of Dricus Du Plessis who competed just two months ago.
Adesanya’s striking ability, footwork, and fight IQ, is some of the best in the UFC right now. As a massive favorite heading into the fight, Strickland would need a miracle moment to dethrone the City Kickboxing champion.
Fight Pick: Israel Adesanya via Finish