Ahead Sept. 9 bout, Adesanya to Strickland: “If you want the belt, come get it”

Ahead Sept. 9 bout, Adesanya to Strickland: “If you want the belt, come get it”

The UFC has released its event promo for UFC 293 on September 9 in Australia, which is headlined by middleweight champion Israel Adesanya taking on Sean Strickland.

Adesanya was originally targeted for a grudge match with Dricus Du Plessis, but ‘Stylebender’ will now have to defend his title once more before that highly-anticipated fight can take shape early next year.

Adesanya, who busted on the promotional scene a few years back, has quickly made a name for himself as one of the best middleweights in the sport, and arguably all-time.

Adesanya was in rare form and sent a message to the brash, non-politically correct Strickland, that becoming the new champion will be easier said than done.

“I’m the champ,” Adesanya said over a highlight package of himself. “If you want the belt, come get it”

Strickland responded in the only way he knew how, which, to many hardcore MMA supporters, should not come as a surprise.

“I’m not a good guy,” Strickland said. “I’m a villain. If you have something good in life, I want to take it from you. I want the title. Let’s do this.”

The bout will be contested at a normal start time in the U.S., with the pay-per-view beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Adesanya has won in Australia previously, defeating the likes of Anderson Silva and Robert Whittaker.

Despite it being the second weekend in September, ‘Adesanya vs. Strickland’ serves as the UFC’s blockbuster fight of the month. The promotion will plan to return to Australia every year for the next three to four years, likely with the goal of having a native top-off the card.

Strickland’s most recent win came in July against Abus Magomedov, earning him a title shot.