The upcoming UFC pay-per-view event in Sydney now has a main event, and one of the sport’s biggest stars set to top the card in Australia.

Undisputed middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will headline the event at the 21,000-capacity Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday, September 9 as he takes on the number-five middleweight contender Sean Strickland.

Adesanya was expected to face South African contender Dricus du Plessis next, but with Adesanya determined to fight on the September card in Australia, du Plessis was unable to complete a turnaround following injury sustained in his TKO finish of former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July.

As a result, Adesanya will face the only man in the UFC’s middleweight top seven he hasn’t yet faced. Strickland was on his way to a title shot in 2022, but saw his six-fight win streak come to an end against Alex Pereira, who went on to defeat Adesanya and win the title.

Strickland then dropped a decision to Jared Cannonier before returning to form in 2023 with victory over French contender Nassourdine Imavov. Strickland then underlined his readiness for a shot at the gold with a TKO finish of highly-regarded Abus Magomedov in July.

Now, with du Plessis forced out of action for now, Strickland has been given the opportunity to face Adesanya for the title in Australia.

The bout was officially announced by UFC president Dana White in a video posted to social media.

“This will be Adesanya’s 11th consecutive UFC title fight,” said White.

“What I love about Israel he’s always ready to take on the best in the world – anyone, anytime. And Strickland is an absolute maniac who doesn’t back down from anyone. This will be a great fight.

“The co-main event is Tai Tuivasa versus Alexander Volkov. Top 10 heavyweights – both of these guys have insane power. There will be no judges needed for this fight.

“Also on the card Kai Kara-France faces Manel Kape in a matchup of top flyweight contenders. Plus, we’ve rebooked Justin Tafa versus Austin Lane. These two heavyweights faced each other on June 24, and it was a great fight for about 30 seconds before Lane accidentally eye-poked Tafa, resulting in a no contest. These two wanted a rematch to finish what they started and we’re giving it to them.

“We haven’t been back to Sydney in six years. It’s one of the greatest cities in the world. UFC 293 Adesanya versus Strickland on Saturday, September 9. Tickets are on sale now, so make your plans today and I will see you at the fights.”

UFC 293: Confirmed fights

  • Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland – for undisputed middleweight title
  • Tai Tuivasa vs. Alexander Volkov
  • Kai Kara-France vs. Manel Kape
  • Carlos Ulberg vs. Da Un Jung
  • Jack Jenkins vs. Chepe Mariscal
  • Justin Tafa vs. Austen Lane
  • Michael Mathetha vs. Charlie Radtke
  • Shane Young vs. Gabriel Miranda
  • Tyson Pedro vs. Anton Turkalj
  • Jamie Mullarkey vs. John Makdessi