A Look Back at UFC 293 in Australia

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
12/09/2023
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What happened at UFC 293?

UFC 293 in Sydney proved exciting with knockouts, submissions, and the shocking defeat of Israel Adesanya leaving fans stunned.

News Insights

  • Adesanya experiences shocking loss.
  • Strickland outstruck the Champion.
  • Four Aussies experience mixed results.
  • New Zealand well represented on the card.

UFC 293 took place at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday and featured a breadth of Australian and New Zealander talent. Some were victorious while others will not so lucky including now former Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya who suffered one of the biggest upsets in UFC history at the hands of Sean Strickland. 

Adesanya Ousted as Champion

Just five months ago Israel Adesanya was on top of the MMA world after knocking out rival Alex Pereira. With the decisive victory, Izzy avenged two kickboxing losses and a prior UFC loss which had seen Pereira take his middleweight belt. 

With Pereira set to move up a weight class and Adesanya having essentially beaten up on every top contender at middleweight, it seemed likely that he would hold the belt for another sustained period of time. 

Well, as it turns out, the fight game is unpredictable. 

Sean Strickland completed one of the biggest upsets in UFC history according to the odds set by betting sites Sunday in Sydney as he dominated Adesanya leaving the champion bruised and beaten by days end. 

The final scorecard’s read 49-46 from each judge in favour of Strickland with Adesanya only winning round two. The result was shocking as Strickland was a massive underdog coming in and many believed this fight was simply to keep Adesanya active before an eventual clash with Dricus Du Plessis. 

Perhaps even more shocking is the manner in which Strickland won. He out struck Israel Adesanya for five rounds. It still sounds crazy typing it out but it’s true. Strickland walked down Izzy all fight, pressuring him and keeping him to the outside of the cage. 

He didn’t use wrestling which most believed was his only chance at winning the fight as Adesanya is known as one of the best pure strikers in the world. Adesanya seemed timid and slow as he didn’t have an answer for Strickland’s relentless pressure and unorthodox defensive style. 

Adesanya struggled to connect with Strickland while the American was able to consistently tag the Champion with big shots. The biggest of which came at the tail end of round one as he landed a right cross, dropping the Adesanya and nearly ending the fight. 

Strickland landed 137 significant strikes to Adesanya’s 94 en route to the unanimous decision victory that makes him the Middleweight Champion of the world. 

Australian’s Have a mediocre Day

Four Australians were fighting on home soil at UFC 293 and they went 2-2. 

Lightweight Jamie Mullarkey started the night off well for the locals with a unanimous decision victory over Canadian John Makdessi.

The very next fight, Jack Jenkins was unable to match his countryman as he fell to Chepe Mariscal via TKO. It was a strange finish to the fight as Mariscal slammed Jenkins to the ground and the Aussie defended it incorrectly causing his shoulder to dislocate and the fight be stopped. 

Next up was Tyson Pedro who was the first fight on the main card. Pedro certainly showed up for his country as he TKO’d Anton Turkalj with punches in round one. 

The final Aussie to fight was crowd favourite Tai Tuivasa who threw some haymakers in round one but was unable to connect. In round two his opponent Alexander Volkov took him to the ground and submitted him with a rare Ezekiel choke.  

New Zealander’s Perform Similarily

Justin Tafa, Carlos Ulberg, and Kevin Jousset were all able to walk away with victories by way of finishes. 

As previously mentioned, Israel Adesanya was defeated as was Shane Young who also failed to make weight. 

Mike Mathetha, better known as Blood Diamond in the UFC world was born in Zimbabwe but represents both New Zealand and Zimbabwe when he fights as he lives and trains in Auckland. He was defeated by Charlie Radtke in a unanimous decision. 

UFC 293 may not have been a smashing success in terms of victories for the many Oceanic competitors on the card but it still offered a great level of excitement and thrill for the audience through submissions, knockouts, and one unforgettable upset.