Huge upset at UFC 293! Israel Adesanya loses title to Sean Strickland: Play-by-play, results

Join us tonight for our live play-by-play of the UFC 293 main event featuring a title fight between Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland.

By: Stephie Haynes | 3 weeks ago
Huge upset at UFC 293! Israel Adesanya loses title to Sean Strickland: Play-by-play, results

Tonight’s UFC 293 might not have had Sean Strickland in the challenger’s spot for Israel Adesanya’s next fight when the brass got to work setting it up initially, but here we are on fight day with the outspoken ‘Tarzan’ taking on the champion. Dricus Du Plessis was the original designee for contention of the middleweight belt but injury forced him out and Strickland got the call-up. Will Israel make easy work of Strickland, or will we see him fall in a shocking upset?


As mentioned above, Dricus Du Plessis was intended for that coveted challenger’s spot, but a foot injury forced him out, so Adesanya took to social media to call out Strickland and later alleged that it forced the UFC’s hand into naming Sean as his next opponent despite reservations about him possibly “embarrassing the company.” It would take the UFC a few weeks to make the formal announcement, citing the need to get Strickland’s travel documents in order.

In the weeks since the announcement, Strickland has taken it upon himself to hype the fight, doing frequent interviews and generally talking loudly into whatever microphone happens to be nearby. His numerous interviews with social media influencers are frequently at the forefront of most media reports while Adesanya has maintained a quieter approach, allowing for Strickland’s antics to take center stage.

When we get down to brass tacks, the accolades and stats speak for themselves. Let us know in the comments who you think takes home MW gold at UFC 293.

Israel Adesanya

  • Ranked No. 4 on the pound-for-pound list
  • 24-2 record with 16 knockout wins (0 submissions)
  • POTN x6
  • FOTN x2
  • Longest UFC winning streak: 12 (2nd longest run in MW history)
  • Current streak: 1 win

Sean Strickland

  • Ranked No. 5 at middleweight
  • 27-5 record with 11 knockouts and 4 submission victories
  • POTN x2
  • FOTN x0
  • Longest UFC winning streak: 6
  • Current streak: 2 wins
UFC 293 main event preview

Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland live play-by-play

Round 1

Israel Adesanya starts with a front kick that just misses. Quick left jab from Adesanya. Quick left from Izzy and some hand fighting. Izzy feints and lands a left. Left low kick from Izzy. Left low kick from Strickland misses. Double left jab from Izzy. Low kick from Strickland. Right left from Strickland whiffs. Hand fighting and a nice right from Strickland. High kick from Adesanya.

Left jab misses from Strickland. Left kick to the body from Izzy. Oblique kick from Adesanya. Left low kick from Strickland. Knee up the middle and a short right for Strickland. Hard right for Strickland pushes Izzy back. Left jab for Izzy. Left to the body for Izzy. High kick and a right for Izzy. Hard combo from Strickland drops Izzy. Adesanya back up as Strickland lands shot after shot. Back in the center. Round over. WOW!

Round 2

Low kick and a short left jab for Izzy. Both men tentative in the center. High kick for Izzy. Right low kick for Izzy. Strickland walking him down but not throwing yet. More hand fighting. Izzy staying away from the cage. Strickland stalking and throwing out a low kick. Low kick from Izzy followed by a quick double left jab.

Big right just misses. Left high kick partially blocked by Strickland. Big overhand right for Izzy. Kick to the midsection for Strickland. Adesanya popping the jab. Strickland with a kick to the middle. Adesanya with a shot to the body and a low kick. Straight left to the midsection. Big right for Adesanya lands. Left lands for Strickland. Double jab and overhand right land for Izzy. Quick double jab lands for Strickland. Nice combo for Strickland lands as round ends.

Round 3

Left jab and left kick to the midsection for Adesanya. Low kick for Izzy followed by a jab up top. Double jab for Izzy. Kick to the midsection partially blocked by Strickland. Left lands for Izzy. Low kick for Izzy lands. Strickland just blocking and fighting hands as Izzy lands another right. Nice left splits Izzy’s guard. Spinning high kick just misses for Izzy. Hard right partially lands for Strickland.

Kick to the midsection by Strickland. Quick left lands but the followup right misses for Strickland. Heavy combo lands for Strickland. Izzy handled it well, though. Hard low kick for Izzy. Left for Izzy lands and a hard left hook lands for Strickland. Sean misses with a kick and a punch as the round ends.

Round 4

Four quick left jabs for Izzy. Double left jab followed by a right over the top lands for Izzy. Both men throw kicks that are thwarted. Izzy with a low left kick. Nice left for Izzy gets through. Right lands for Izzy. Left kick grazes Izzy. Big combo from Strickland wobbles Izzy. And another but izzy is still throwing and handling well.

Izzy with a hard kick to the middle. High kick blocked by Strickland. Right kick to the thigh by Strickland followed by a hard right. Strickland catches Izzy on the fence and lands two hard shots. Big right by Izzy. Hard one-two for Izzy. Body kick from Izzy.

Strickland stalking, trying to catch him on the cage. Welt forming under Izzy’s right eye. Low kicks traded. Izzy lands a nice left. Strickland lands a left. Shot to the midsection followed by a right up top for Izzy. Quick jab from Strickland followed by a body kick for Strickland. Round over.

Round 5

Izzy starts by throwing out that left pawing jab. Kick to the midsection from Strickland. Low kick for adesanya followed by a shot to the middle. Strickland just misses with a left hook. Right from Strickland just misses as Izzy ducks under. Left from Izzy is blocked. Left low kick for Izzy. Left from Strickland. Hard kick to the middle from Strickland. Double jab whiffs for Strickland.

Izzy lands a quick left and spins away. Right over the top for Izzy. Left high kick for Izzy. Strickland stalking. Kick to the middle from Strickland. Left for Izzy answered by a left from Strickland. Hard right from Strickland. Another right partially blocked by Izzy. Kick to the middle by Strickland. Hard right for Strickland. Kick to the midsection by Strickland. Izzy bleeding and swollen. Strickland swinging hard and shouting at him. Kick to the body and a huge left by Strickland end the round. Great fight by Strickland.

Official Decision

Sean Strickland def. Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46 x3): Middleweight AND NEW!

UFC 293 Quick Results

Main card


Early prelims

Start date and time

UFC 293: Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland takes place on September 9th at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. The main event starts at 10 p.m. ET. The prelims begin at 8 p.m. ET and the early prelims go live at 6:30 p.m. ET.

PPV price and live streams

UFC 293: Adesanya vs. Strickland is available on ESPN+ PPV for $79.99 for current subscribers. New subscribers can pay $124.98 for the UFC 291 pay-per-view and an ESPN+ annual subscription. The event is scheduled to start live at 6:30pm ET, 3:30pm PT, with the early prelims on the ESPN+ streaming platform in the US, as well as Fight Pass. The PPV main card is to kick off at 10:00pm ET, 7:00pm PT. For full streaming details, and compatible devices go here.

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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