Now officially slated to headline UFC 293 in September, undisputed two-time middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has opened as a massive betting favorite to retain his championship by defeating incoming title chaser, Sean Strickland in Sydney, Australia.
Adesanya, a two-time undisputed middleweight champion and the incumbent gold holder, most recently headlined UFC 287 back in April in Miami, Florida – defeating arch-rival and common-foe, Alex Pereira with a thunderous second round KO in the pair’s title rematch.
As for Strickland, the newly-minted number five ranked middleweight contender, has enjoyed a two-fight winning run this year, most recently securing his first knockout win since 2020 with a stunning second round knockout win over the highly-touted Abusupiyan Magomedov at the UFC Apex facility back in July.
And officially booking his first title outing under the banner of the Dana White-led promotion, Sean Strickland has opened as a whopping +360 on many markers to dethrone Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 on September 9. – with the champion currently sitting as a -400 betting favorite ahead of the pay-per-view showdown.
Israel Adesanya opens as huge favorite ahead of UFC 293
A host of markets and bookies are offering prices and odds on Adesanya’s title outing with Strickland already – including numerous websites offering betting online, if fans are interested in wagering on the middleweight title affair.
Boasting an impressive three-fight undefeated run whilst fighting ‘Down Under’ during his Octagon tenure, Adesanya first landed in the promotion with a stoppage win over PFL tournament star, Rob Wilkinson in a Perth victory.
In a second appearance in Australia – this time in a headlining capacity, the City Kickboxing staple landed a decision win over former middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva in Melbourne, before tasting undisputed UFC gold for the first time back in 2019 – also in ‘The Garden City’ with a TKO win Robert Whittaker in the pair’s first clash.
As for Strickland, the hugely-outspoken middleweight challenger began his year at the light heavyweight limit – in an impromptu fashion, defeating the highly-touted Nassourdine Imavov in a headliner back in January.
Benefitting from some unfortunate circumstances surrounding the current number one ranked, Dricus du Plessis, Covina native, Strickland booked his first championship walk under the scrutiny of the promotion, as the South African is sidelined amid a lingering foot injury suffered before a stunning win over Whittaker at UFC 290 back in July.
Sharing his thoughts on his championship return to Australia next month, Nigerian-Kiwi striking ace, Adesanya has further promised to turn in a dominant triumph against Strickland en route to a win at UFC 293.
“I don’t take this lightly,” Israel Adesanya said. “You guys will see me, see I’ve been working. I’m not underestimating this guy but at the same time, I’m not overestimating him. I want to make this look easy – I’m gonna make this look easy, ‘cause of the work that we’re doing right now. And the way that I’m working right now, I just know.”
“He’s got a nice guard, he’s got a good jab, and to be honest, [he’s] just crazy,” Israel Adesanya explained. “He’s crazy. That’s the X-factor, but again, so am I.’