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(C) Israel Adesanya
Felipe dos Santos
(C) Israel Adesanya vs Sean Strickland - Middleweight championship
Our pick: Israel Adesanya (-650)
Tai Tuivasa vs Alexander Volkov - Heavyweight division
Our pick: Tai Tuivasa (+205)
Manel Kape vs Felipe dos Santos - Flyweight division
Our pick: Manel Kape (-410)
Justin Tafa vs Austen Lane - Heavyweight division
Our pick: Justin Tafa (-218)
Tyson Pedro vs Anton Turkalj - Light heavyweight division
Our pick: Tyson Pedro (-105)
|Israel Adesanya||TALE OF THE TAPE||Sean Strickland|
6 ft 4 in
6 ft 1 in
Having just won his middleweight title back from Alex Pereira at UFC 287 this past April, Adesanya was expected to face Dricus du Plessis in his first title defense. However, after du Plessis requested more time to prepare, Adesanya offered a challenge to Sean Strickland, who was more than happy to oblige.
After winning the undisputed title for the first time in 2019, Adesanya defended the belt five times before losing to Alex Pereira last November. Adesanya was granted a rematch and soundly defeated Pereira via second-round knockout, once again claiming the gold as middleweight champion.
After dropping back-to-back losses to Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier, Sean Strickland is now on a two-fight winning streak that includes a unanimous decision win over Nassourdine Imavov and, most recently, a second-round TKO win over Abus Magomedov - which took place only two-months ago.
Adesanya, a whopping -650 betting favorite, will stand three-inches taller and have a four-inch reach advantage over Strickland.
Strickland holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and this will be the number-five-ranked middleweight’s first title fight in the UFC.
It has been rumored that former title challenger Jared Cannonier - who holds a recent win over challenger Sean Strickland as well - will be weighing in this weekend as the back-up fighter should anything happen to either Adesanya or Strickland prior to Saturday’s main event.
To find out how to place your bets for this middleweight title main event, check out our ultimate UFC betting guide to get started.
TALE OF THE TAPE
6 ft 2 in
6 ft 7 in
The first of two heavyweight fights on the main card, top-ten ranked fighters Tai Tuivasa (no.6) and Alexander Volkov (no.7) look to put on a show in the UFC 293 co-main event.
Hometown legend and known for his “shooey”, Tai Tuivasa - who once enjoyed a five-fight winning streak - now finds himself on a two-fight skid, having been knocked out in back-to-back fights against Ciryl Gane and Sergei Pavlovich.
Tuivasa will have his hands full this weekend with Alexander Volkov, who has won his last two in a row against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Romanov - both by first-round TKO.
The Russian-born Volkov is one of the largest heavyweights in the division’s history and will not only stand five-inches taller than Tuivasa, but he will enjoy a five-inch reach advantage as well.
Currently, Volkov is listed as the -250 favorite over Tuivasa heading into Saturday’s co-main event.
|Manel Kape||TALE OF THE TAPE||Felipe dos Santos|
6 ft 6 in
5 ft 7 in
Originally slated to face Kai Kara-France - who was forced to withdraw from this bout due to a concussion suffered in training - Manel Kape now finds himself welcoming undefeated newcomer Felipe dos Santos to the UFC roster.
Born in Brazil and training with Chute Boxe Diego Lima, Felipe dos Santos is undefeated at 7-0 but has yet to compete under the UFC banner.
Manel Kape has five UFC bouts under his belt. After losing his first two UFC fights, Kape now finds himself on a three-fight winning streak, having most recently defeated David Dvorak via unanimous decision last December.
At -410 Manel Kape is the second-biggest betting favorite on the main card after the middleweight champion. This is the only main card bout without Australian representation.
|Justin Tafa||TALE OF THE TAPE||Austen Lane|
6 ft 6 in
6-3, 1 no-contest
12-3, 1 no-contest
Justin Tafa and Austen Lane met in the octagon for the first time this past June but their bout was declared a no-contest after just 29-seconds when an accidental eye poke rendered Justin Tafa unable to continue.
This rematch hopes to end with a definitive winner.
Former NFL player Austen Lane was riding a six-fight winning streak prior to the no-contest with Tafa. It was the UFC debut for the former Jacksonville Jaguar and BJJ blue belt.
Prior to the eye-poke, Tafa was on a winning streak of his own - having defeated Harry Hunsucker and Parker Porter in back-to-back bouts; both by first-round knockout.
Despite standing six-inches shorter and having a six-inch disadvantage in reach, the more experienced (and Australian-born) Tafa will enter the octagon this Saturday as the -218 favorite.
|Tyson Pedro||TALE OF THE TAPE||Anton Turkalj|
6 ft 3 in
6 ft 4 in
Still looking for his first win in the UFC octagon, Anton Turkalj was still undefeated when he signed with the promotion in 2022. However, he has lost both of his fights thus far with the promotion - most recently dropping a decision to Vitor Petrino back in March.
Tyson Pedro will be the first Australian fighter to appear on the main card, but definitely not the last. A member of the UFC roster since 2017, Pedro has a promotional record of 5-4.
Pedro is coming off of a unanimous decision loss against Modestas Bukauskas at UFC 284 earlier this year.
Despite holding black belts in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kempo, as well as having the hometown crowd on his side, Tyson Pedro will enter the cage this weekend as the lightest -105 betting underdog compared to the -115 Anton Turkalj.
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