UFC 293 is finally here, and boy is it a stacked card! The UFC returns down under to Sydney, Australia where Israel Adesanya looks to make his first title defense of his second reign as UFC Middleweight champion as he takes on Sean Strickland in the Main Event. We’ll also see our Aussie Tai Tuivasa face off against veteran Alex Volkov at Heavyweight in the Co-Main Event. The stage is set and we’re ready! With plenty of Aussies on the card, it’s going to be electric at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Area.
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Check out all our UFC tips for UFC 293 including predictions for the Main Event, as well as two other fights on the card:
Best Bet - Adesanya v Strickland - Adesanya to win by KO/TKO - $2.10
Stickland got the call up when Du Plessis was not available. To me, this seems like a pretty heavy mismatch. I really only see it going one way. Firstly, let’s take a look at what Sean needs to do to secure a win. Well, firstly, he really has nothing to lose and that makes him dangerous. He’ll need to apply constant pressure.
He’ll need to work out a way to get on the inside and not get drawn into a kickboxing match. Also, if he gets it on the ground, he could score a few points there, but he needs to make it sloppy and keep it up close. Now, there’s a few ways Adesanya can win.
His resume is absolutely ludicrous, and he’s stood with some of the best strikers in the world. There’s a reason he’s in the top-5 pound for pound best fighters. Israel’s striking is absolutely incredible, but his timing and footwork are equally as impressive. The finishes he’s had over Pereira, Costa, Whittaker and Brunson are all a result of this.
He has the ability to keep it at range, pick his shots, avoid getting hit and simply dismantling fighters. If he keeps it at distance, and times his shot, I think he’ll land that fatal shot. I think we could see a very similar outcome to Strickland vs Pereira. I’m thinking this may come in Round 2-3 also.
Next Best - Tuivasa v Volkov - Tuivasa to win - $2.90
I’m very excited for this heavyweight co-main. It’s an interesting matchup and I think there’s some real juice in Tai on home soil. Volkov is an extremely skilled fighter and a seasoned veteran. He’s got some serious speed and accuracy at heavyweight. He’s technical and likes to fight from a distance, however when he gets hit, it tends to fold.
This is actually a very good matchup for Tai, he won’t be too worried about getting knocked out and being from Sydney, he’ll thrive in his environment. If Tai can get inside early and land a big shot, Volkov is in some real trouble. Tai is deceivingly fast for his size, and he packs some serious power in those hands.
If he can land a few early and make it out of the first round relatively unscathed, I think we may see a repeat of Volkov vs Lewis. Or, if Tai gets off to a quick start, I think we could even see a finish in the first round. It’s hard to bet against Tai at home, even though he’s floating around $2.90, I think that’s a great bet.
Value Bet - Tafa v Lane - SGM (Tafa to win by KO, Round 1, Under 2.5 min) - $4.00
Another cracker on the main card is Tafa vs Lane. A rematch after a 29 second eye poke from June which resulted in a no contest. Now they’re back – it should be good fun, for as long as it lasts. That's the big question, how long do we think that it’ll last?
Lane is the taller fighter and a great athlete, but I think it stops there. When you think of Tafa, you think knockout. He has huge power in his hands, but he also has great timing and patience, he doesn’t force the finish, he finds it.
I expect Tafa to catch Lane early and finish it there. Like Greg Hardy vs Austen Lane on the contender series. Generally, Tafa’s finishes come early, usually around the minute mark of Round 1. So, we’re keeping it consistent with a finish under 2.5 minutes of the first.
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