For the first time in 6 years, the UFC returns to Sydney, Australia. The Qudos Bank Arena should be rocking as the UFC brings them a loaded card that showcases some of Australia’s best fighters. Headlined by middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who will put his belt on the line against Sean Strickland, in a 5 round banger! I’ll be breaking down that fight, as well as some other notable fights that I think we can make a profit on, while enjoying a fun evening of fights!
Manel Kape vs Felipe Dos Santos
The originally anticipated fight between Manel Kape and Kai Kara France, which promised to be an absolute banger, will now see Felipe Dos Santos stepping in on short notice. Kape, the 10th ranked flyweight in the UFC, looks to continue his run for the flyweight belt. He is coming into this fight riding a three-fight win streak that includes two first round KO’s. Kape has had numerous opponents pull out of fights in the previous year, so I’m sure he’s excited to remind fighters and fans that he is still a threat to become a champion in the organization. Felipe Dos Santos, on the other hand, jumped at the opportunity to fight a ranked flyweight in his UFC debut.
Originally slated to participate in Dana White’s Contender Series last week, Dos Santos should be heading into this matchup with a sense of nothing to lose. He’s likely aiming to make a strong impression on the bosses and demonstrate that he truly belongs. The 22 year-old is undefeated as a professional, securing five finishes in those bouts. I see this fight being competitive at first, with both guys letting their hands fly. The veteran, Kape, should use his experience and fight IQ to find entries and ultimately break down Dos Santos. Kape should be looking to make a statement and add another KO to his resume.
My Pick: Manel Kape by KO/TKO -115
Tai Tuivasa vs Alexander Volkov
The co-main event showcases two ranked heavyweights, when Australia’s own Tai Tuivasa takes on Alexander Volkov. Tuivasa is looking to feed off the hometown crowd in hopes of ending a two-fight losing streak after getting knocked out by Cyril Gane and Serghei Spivac. Tuivasa is never in a boring fight. He throws monstrous shots at his opponents that usually end in a knockout one way or the other. On the contrary, Alexander Volkov is coming into this fight on a two-fight win streak, both being knockouts. Volkov, the more technical striker, will look to use his monstrous 6 foot 7 inch frame to keep Tuivasa at rang, picking him apart in the process. Volkov also has the edge in wrestling if he chooses to take the fight to the ground. I believe Tuivasa knows that and will do whatever it takes to keep the fight standing and with Tuivasa, all it takes is one shot to land and the fight could be over.
My Pick: Tai Tuivasa to win by KO/TKO +300
Israel Adesanya vs Sean Strickland
The champ is back! After an electric second round knockout of long time rival Alex Pereira, Adesanya reclaimed his middleweight belt at UFC 287 in April. Defending his middleweight strap for the seventh time, Adesanya will be looking to make a statement this weekend as he faces notorious trash talker Sean Strickland in the main event. Strickland finds himself in an interesting title shot. 2-2 in his last four fights with the most recent being against Abus Magomedov who was only fighting in his second UFC bout. Initially, many expected Dricus Du Plesis to have a shot at the belt, but when he turned down the fight, Sean Strickland stepped in. There is a world that Strickland could use his wrestling advantage to take the champ down and dominate on the mat. Those of you who have watched a Sean Strickland fight know that is rarely the case.
Strickland loves to use his pressure, and slick jab, to push the pace and not give his opponents any room to breath. The counter to that will be Adesanya’s crafty faints and nasty leg kicks to keep Strickland at bay, while patiently waiting for the kill shot. Coming in as a massive 7-1 favorite, I’m all in on the champ retaining his belt and cementing himself as the UFC middleweight GOAT!
My Pick: Israel Adesanya to win by KO/TKO +115 & Sprinkle .5 units on Adesanya to win by KO/TKO in round 3 +850 and Adesanya to win by KO/TKO in round 4 +1300
Best Parlay Play for UFC 293
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