UFC 293 Staff Picks

“The Land Down Under” makes a pit stop for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and MMASucka staff picks.

UFC 293 kicks off in just a few short hours today, September 9th from the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, returning to the New South Wales capital for the first time since November of 2017 where Fabricio Werdum and Marcin Tybura clashed for five rounds at UFC Fight Night 121. Tonight’s card will begin with early preliminary fights at 6:30pm ET (3:30pm PT) on UFC Fight Pass followed by the regular prelims on both cable ESPN News and, for subscribers, on ESPN+. Pay-per-view fights start at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) available for purchase through ESPN+.

Stay tuned to MMASucka for live UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland results. Also, be on the lookout this upcoming Tuesday, September 12th for our Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 7, Week 6 picks from Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Fights

Middleweight gold awaits the victor of tonight’s featured main event as divisional champion Israel Adesanya takes on challenger Sean Strickland.

Looking to start a second string of defenses sees Adesanya who, after losing the title in November of last year to Alex Pereira, rebounded with an April rematch knockout in the second round to claim the championship once more. The New Zealander has finished 16 of his eight professional victories by way of knockout, and the seasoned striking talent out of City Kickboxing hopes to continue his 185-pound efforts as one of the greatest in middleweight history. Adesanya’s opponent, Strickland, prepares to make his 20th octagon walk the most memorable in what comes as his first title shot with the UFC. A former King of the Cage Middleweight Champion, the well-versed athlete aims for win number three of 2023 after a unanimous decision win at light heavyweight over Nassourdine Imavov in January and, most recently, a second-round stoppage by knockout over Abus Magomedov.

Dangerous heavyweight finishers Tai Tuivasa and Alexander Volkov will meet in the day’s co-main event. Sydney’s own Tuivasa makes his first appearance of the calendar year in hopes of snapping a two-fight skid after back-to-back knockout losses to Ciryl Gane and Sergey Pavlovich; a string of defeats that snapped a five-fight knockout stretch of his own. Former Bellator Heavyweight Champion and M-1 Global Heavyweight Champion Volkov rides opposite momentum with two straight knockout wins over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Romanov inside two and-a-half minutes.

Looking to steal the spotlight sees former RIZIN Bantamweight Champion Manel Kape set to take on undefeated debutant Felipe dos Santos at 135 pounds. Dos Santos stepped in on late notice for Kai Kara-France who suffered a concussion and was forced out of the contest.

Two additional fights make up the awaiting pay-per-view. Heavyweight New Zealander Justin Tafa and Australian light heavyweight Tyson Pedro bring the hometown support as they look battle former Fury FC Heavyweight Champion Austen Lane and 2022 Contender Series contract winner Anton Turkalj, respectively. Who wins and who is picked to win by the MMASucka crew at UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland?

2023 Staff Picks

MMASucka staff picks are composed of five promotions: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS). UFC and Bellator events feature picks from only main cards. PFL will feature select fights from the main and/or preliminary card while DWCS sees all fights counted from the event. ONE Championship returns to picks for the first time since 2020 and will feature only mixed martial arts (MMA) fights selected from cards with a minimum three matchups.

The WINNER of staff picks at the end of 2023, who picked the most victorious fighters, will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBeltsย or a chain fromย Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2022 was won by Wesley Riddle with a record of 264-135.

Find out our picks and predictions for UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland below.


Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series – Season 7, Week 5:

Ben Jamieson: 217-111
Michael DeSantis: 214-114
Jeremy Brand: 207-121
Wesley Riddle: 207-121
Nate Freeman: 206-122
Frazer Krohn: 198-130
Julio Monteros Jr.: 187-105
Andrew Benjamin: 156-132
Jack Goodwillie: 148-83
Brian Knight: 134-80
Tim Wheaton: 105-60
Roemello Reyes: 62-34
Jonathan Andrade: 31-24
Brandon Joint: 12-9
Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
Joshua Yule: 7-6
Chris De Santiago: 6-6
Antwyn Jackson: 5-6

*Note โ€“ not all staff pick for every event*


Tyson Pedro (9-4), -108
vs.
Anton Turkalj (8-2), -112

Light Heavyweight Division
– 205 LBS. ~ 93.0 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Pedro via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Pedro via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Pedro via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Pedro via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Turkalj via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Pedro via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Turkalj via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Turkalj via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Pedro: 5
Staff picking Turkalj: 3


Justin Tafa (6-3), -218
vs.
Austen Lane (12-3, 1 NC), +180

Heavyweight Division
– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Tafa via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Tafa via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Tafa via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Lane via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Tafa via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Tafa via Round 1 TKO
Brian Knight: Tafa via Round 1 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Tafa via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Tafa: 7
Staff picking Lane: 1


Manel Kape (18-6), -425
vs.
Felipe dos Santos (7-0), +330

Flyweight Division
– 125 LBS. ~ 56.7 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Kape via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Kape via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Kape via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Kape via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Kape via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Kape via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Kape via Round 1 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Kape via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Kape: 8
Staff picking dos Santos: 0


Tai Tuivasa (15-5), +200
vs.
Alexander Volkov (36-10), -245

Heavyweight Division
– Co-Main Event –

– 265 LBS. ~ 120.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Volkov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Tuivasa via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Volkov via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Volkov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Volkov via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Tuivasa via Round 2 TKO
Brian Knight: Volkov via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Volkov via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Tuivasa: 2
Staff picking Volkov: 6


Israel Adesanya (24-2), -675
vs.
Sean Strickland (27-5), +490

Middleweight Divisional Championship
– Main Event –

– 185 LBS. ~ 83.9 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Adesanya via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Adesanya via Round 5 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Adesanya via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Adesanya via Round 3 TKO
Nate Freeman: Adesanya via Round 3 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Adesanya via Round 3 TKO
Brian Knight: Adesanya via Round 2 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Adesanya via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Adesanya: 8
Staff picking Strickland: 0

UFC 293 FEATURED IMAGE:

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