At the main event of UFC 293, current middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya will face Sean Strickland for his title defense. After reclaiming his title from former foe and Glory kickboxing champion Alex Pereira, this marks his return to the octagon.
The “Last Stylebender” is expecting the clash to be a lopsided affair because of the sparring-style fighting technique of Strickland. He still shows vulnerability in his fighting while facing adversaries that employ wrestling prowess in the octagon.
Israel Adesanya plans to KO Sean Strickland with painted nails 💅
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) August 28, 2023
Israel Adesanya holds a professional MMA record of 24 wins and 2 losses in his career. He has an impressive resume with notable wins over Anderson Silva, Yoel Romero, and Robert Whittaker. With 16 wins by way of knockouts, he has proved his mettle in the game.
The only losses that came back to haunt him were against the former kickboxing champion, Alex Pereira. Pereira holds a track record of defeating Adesanya in Glory kickboxing and the UFC. The second loss for Adesanya came at the hands of former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz.
How Israel Adesanya has fared against Wrestlers?
While Izzy is known for throwing feints before landing power shots, he has shown weakness in his defensive game. He struggled to shut the takedowns in his fight against Jan Blachowicz in his light heavyweight debut at UFC 259. Although he managed to win battles against Whittaker and Periera, he got taken down and controlled on the ground.
According to the UFC statistics, Israel Adesanya lands an average of 3.94 strikes per minute, while Sean Strickland lands an average of 5.86 strikes per minute. However, In the wrestling department, Israel Adesanya clearly lacks effort and skills. He attempts an average of 0.06 takedowns per 15 minutes and 0.17 submission attempts per minute. This signifies a clear advantage a fighter with wrestling prowess can hold over Izzy.
On the contrary, Sean Strickland has attempted an average of 1 take-down attempt per 15 minutes, with 64 percent accuracy. Even though the “Tarzan” almost matches the striking average with Adesanya, he does rely on the sparring-styled fight. This is reflected in the minimal footwork and body movement. Moreover, Alex Pereira has earlier exposed the loopholes in Sean Strickland’s fighting approach, which Izzy will be looking forward to replicating in the fight.
It will be interesting to see whether the “Tarzan” manages to exploit the “Stylebender’s” weakness, while approaching a different fight strategy or gets completely outstruck in the striking department in what appears to be an intriguing matchup at UFC 293. Share your thoughts on the matchup.