Mac Mally’s UFC 293 Preview
UFC 293 rolls into Australia this weekend and our man Mac Mally is on hand to give his expert opinion on the big night. Buckle up for this UFC 293 preview.
Crikey! We’re going to the Land Down Under!! UFC 293 showcases a showdown between two warriors with contrasting styles that promise to set the octagon ablaze. Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland are about to engage in fistic fireworks for a golden belt.
In one corner, we have the reigning Middleweight monarch, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya, a fighter whose striking finesse is as smooth as a salsa dancer on roller skates. Adesanya is the champ for a reason, boasting a striking arsenal that includes fluid movement, sniper-like precision, and a dazzling array of kicks. He’s the type of fighter who can pick opponents apart from a distance and isn’t afraid to bite down on his mouthpiece and slug it out when things get messy.
In the other corner stands the gritty and relentless Sean Strickland, a fighter known for his unyielding pressure and relentless pace. Random, but does anyone remember his nickname used to be Tarzan? Strickland isn’t known for flashy kicks or strikes or even walk-off KO power, but he’s got a chin as sturdy as a bank vault (unless you’re Poatan) and crisp boxing skills that would make a kangaroo nod in approval. He’s climbed the Middleweight ladder through sheer determination and an attitude that says, “I’ll eat your lunch, ask for seconds, and then tell Twitter about it.”
To dissect the keys to victory, Adesanya must stick to his bread and butter: maintaining distance and sniping Strickland from afar. He’ll need to use his reach advantage and peppering leg kicks to keep Sean at bay while exploiting any openings with heat-seeking missile precision counter-strikes. On the flip side, Strickland’s game plan revolves around relentless forward movement and an excellent gas tank. With that being said, we’ve seen Sean somewhat freeze up before and look hesitant to fully engage, but he’s got to pressure Adesanya, forcing the champ into uncomfortable positions, and maybe even test out his takedown defense just to mix things up. If he just stands in front of him and doesn’t go full send, it’s going to be Izzy by whatever and however fast he wants.
As for the crystal ball prediction on the UFC betting, there is no clear path to victory for Sean Strickland except for the fact that MMA has proven time and time and time again that it loves to prove us wrong. Don’t be fooled; MMA has done weirder things than a Strickland upset over one of the best in the game. My official pick? Israel Adesanya by 3rd round finish. I’m not taking TKO specifically because he’s stated multiple times he wants a submission victory. Could this be the one?
Tai Tuivasa vs Alexander Volkov
Make sure you wear a clean pair of shoes to this one because you never know if Tai Tuivasa is going to blow the roof off with a wild finishing flurry and inspire you to slam a cold brew out of your Air Max’s. Tai hasn’t had an easy run as of late, getting Derrick Lewis, Cyril Gane, and the terrifying Sergei Pavlovich all back-to-back. Volkov, on the other hand, as a mainstay in the Heavyweight division, is on a two-fight win streak with two first-round TKOs. Will Tai be able to get back in the W column after an understandable two-fight skid and take down the towering Russian?
Let’s talk strategy. Rewatch Lewis vs Volkov. Tai needs to do what Derrick Lewis did but preferably with more than 10 seconds left. It’s all about getting up close and personal. He’s got to find his way past Volkov’s range and unleash the beast. But here’s the deal: he can’t afford to get caught up in a technical striking battle with Volkov. It’s like trying to outsmart a chess grandmaster with a game of checkers – not gonna happen. Tai needs to bring the chaos and pressure, turning this fight into a heavyweight hurricane. Simply put, let Tai bang, Bro.
As for Volkov, he’s the master of maintaining distance and has stacked on some muscle lately that seems to be giving him a noticeable increase in pop in his strikes. He’ll be using his gifts of height and reach to avoid trading shot for shot with Tuivasa. If he can keep Bam Bam at bay and find opportunities to use digs with kicks to the legs and body, maybe clinch knees if Tai crashes in, it might just be his ticket to victory by slowly depleting that body health bar and gas tank. Cyril Gane did this to Tai very well.
Now, prediction time has arrived, dudes. This fight is a classic case of your heart picking one fighter and your brain picking the other. It’s a close fight regardless, but Volkov has the tools and power to defeat Tai. With that said, Tai just fought the two best heavyweights in the division back to back. He’s hungry and will be in front of a home crowd that is guaranteed to absolutely pop off at every solid strike. I’m telling my brain not to be a nerd and pass me a can and an Air Max. Tai Tuivasa by TKO.
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