The UFC’s premier middleweight returns to action as he headlines UFC 293 in Australia as he bids to add another contender’s name to his long list of vanquished opponents.

Israel Adesanya has only lost once as a middleweight, and he avenged his defeat to Alex Pereira with a stunning knockout performance in their immediate rematch as he blasted his way back to the undisputed UFC middleweight title in spectacular fashion at UFC 287 in April.

All roads seemed to be leading to a clash with South African contender Dricus du Plessis, but with “Stillknocks” not ready to make a swift turnaround to face Adesanya in Sydney, the UFC instead turned to Sean Strickland, who heads to Australia for his first UFC title opportunity.

A veteran of 32 pro fights, Strickland bounced back from successive losses in 2022 with back-to-back wins in the first half of 2023 as he put himself in prime position for a title eliminator bout. But, rather than a booking to earn a title shot, Strickland was given a direct shot at Adesanya, and will look to upset the odds, and the champion, in Sydney.

Ahead of the bout,  the UFC’s Countdown cameras caught up with both fighters, and their teams, as they made their final preparations for their middleweight title clash. Check it out via the video player below.