On September 10th, the UFC visited Sydney, Australia for the sixth time in the promotion’s history. As the company often does when they hold an event outside of the states, this card was stacked with Australian talent.
The preliminary card led off with two lightweight fights. The Moroccan Nasrat Haqparast won by decision despite taking a considerable amount more damage than his opponent, Landon Quiñones. Haqparast spoke of the earthquakes that ravaged Morocco the same day in his post-fight interview. Jamie Mularkey of Central Coast won in an eerily similar manner as the previous fight, taking much more damage yet still winning a unanimous decision. A scary arm injury ended Jack Jenkins’ night and after a hard-fought three rounds, Jung Da-un was unable to make it to the bell and was submitted by Carlos Ulberg.
To start the main card, two native Australians, Tyson Pedro, and Justin Tafa, won via knockout in the first round against Anton Turkalj and Austen Lane, respectively. Manel Kape had an incredible fight week, pulling in many new fans. So, when he unanimously defeated Felipe dos Santos and then referred to the fighters who had dropped out of fights against him as a homophobic slur, it soured the fight for many. In a sad showing, beloved heavyweight Tua Tuivasa was submitted by a rare Ezekiel choke from Alexander Volkov after nearly two full rounds of domination. In the main event, Sean Strickland, whose tumultuous childhood has fueled him to be the fighter he is today, destroyed Israel Adesanya to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion of the world. He exclaimed in his post-fight interview that it’s “How you lead your life that matters” and not his new title belt.