UFC 293: Strickland Shocks Adesanya, Volkov Submits Tuivasa
UFC 293 was a historic event that took place on September 9, 2023, at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. The event featured the first UFC title fight in Australia since 2019, as well as the return of several fan-favorite fighters. The main event saw Israel Adesanya defend his middleweight title against Sean Strickland, who had won five straight fights to earn his shot at the belt. The co-main event pitted heavyweight contenders Alexander Volkov and Tai Tuivasa against each other in a clash of styles and personalities. Here are the highlights and results of UFC 293:
In the main event, Sean Strickland pulled off a stunning upset by defeating Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to become the new UFC middleweight champion. Strickland used his pressure, volume, and wrestling to neutralize Adesanya’s striking and movement. Strickland landed more significant strikes than Adesanya in every round, and also scored four takedowns throughout the fight. Strickland was able to control Adesanya on the ground and land ground-and-pound, while also avoiding Adesanya’s submission attempts. Strickland improved his record to 28-5 and extended his winning streak to six. Adesanya fell to 24-3 and lost his middleweight title after four successful defenses.
In the co-main event, Alexander Volkov submitted Tai Tuivasa by Ezekiel choke in the second round to notch his third consecutive stoppage win. Volkov used his height and reach advantage to keep Tuivasa at bay with jabs, kicks, and counter punches. Volkov dropped Tuivasa twice in the first round and bloodied his face with his strikes. Tuivasa tried to chop down Volkov’s legs with low kicks, but could not find his range with his power punches. In the second round, Volkov dropped Tuivasa again and followed him to the ground. Volkov quickly mounted Tuivasa and rained down elbows and hammer fists until he locked in an Ezekiel choke that forced Tuivasa to tap out at 4:37 of the round. Volkov improved his record to 37-10 and moved closer to a title shot in the heavyweight division. Tuivasa suffered his third straight loss by stoppage and dropped to 15-6.
Manel Kape def. Felipe Dos Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28): Kape and Dos Santos put on a fast-paced and entertaining flyweight bout, with both fighters landing hard shots and showing off their speed and agility. Kape had the edge in accuracy and power, while Dos Santos had the advantage in volume and diversity. Kape scored a knockdown in the first round and nearly finished Dos Santos with ground-and-pound, but Dos Santos survived and came back strong in the second round. The third round was close, but Kape landed some more significant strikes and secured a takedown to seal the deal.
Justin Tafa def. Austen Lane via first-round TKO (punches): Tafa and Lane wasted no time in exchanging heavy blows in their heavyweight clash, with both fighters looking for the knockout. Tafa was the more aggressive and confident fighter, while Lane was more tentative and cautious. Tafa landed a big right hand that rocked Lane and followed up with a left hook that dropped him. Tafa then pounced on Lane and finished him off with more punches on the ground until the referee stopped the fight at 1:22 of the first round.
Tyson Pedro def. Anton Turkalj via first-round TKO (punches): Pedro and Turkalj engaged in a wild and chaotic light heavyweight bout, with both fighters swinging for the fences and landing hard shots. Pedro had the edge in experience and composure, while Turkalj had the advantage in height and reach. Pedro landed a left hook that stunned Turkalj and followed up with a right hand that dropped him. Pedro then jumped on Turkalj and landed more punches on the ground until the referee stopped the fight at 2:12 of the first round.
FULL UFC 293 card and results
Sean Strickland (c) def. Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Alexander Volkov def. Tai Tuivasa via second-round submission (Ezekiel choke)
Manel Kape def. Felipe Dos Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Justin Tafa def. Austen Lane via first-round TKO (punches)
Tyson Pedro def. Anton Turkalj via first-round TKO (punches)
Carlos Ulberg def. Da Woon Jung via third-round submission (rear-naked choke)
Chepe Mariscal def. Jack Jenkins via second-round submission (verbal tap)
John Makdessi def. Jamie Mullarkey via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Nasrat Haqparast def. Landon Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Charlie Radtke def. Mike Diamond via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Gabriel Miranda def. Shane Young via first-round submission (neck crank)
Kevin Jousset def. Kiefer Crosbie via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)