UFC middleweight Jared Cannonier will serve as the backup fighter for UFC 293 main event between Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland.

In a story first reported by MMA Junkie, Cannonier will act as the backup for this weekends fight between reigning 185 lb champion, Israel Adesanya and the No. 5 ranked Sean Strickland. The event will take place in Sydney, Australia and Cannonier will be required to make the championship limit.

Should either Strickland or Adesanya drop out it would result in a rematch for Cannonier. ‘Killa Gorrila’ faced challenged Adesanya for his title in July of last year, losing a clear cut decision with a fairly uninspiring performance. The 39-year-old would then bounce back with a win over Strickland five months later, in what was a closely contested five round fight. 

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Israel Adesanya Vs. Sean Strickland

With the No.1 contender, Dricus Du Plessis being unable to make the quick turn around following his victory over Robert Whittaker due to injury, it was up to Strickland to fill in on September 9. 

The American has earned back-to-back wins over Nassourdine Imavov and Abus Magomedov after dropping his fight with Cannonier. While Strickland was not the first choice and is a considerable underdog, an opportunity of this magnitude should woefully inspire a brave performance. 

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Adesanya has the opportunity to further extend his already extensive middleweight resume, if successful it will be his sixth title defence at the weight. 

“Like I said, he’s an idiot and you know, the UFC don’t want him embarrassing the company. But yeah, that’s all I’ll say about that, so he should thank me. He should really thank me for actually making him get the fight. I pushed for it,” Adesanya said of his upcoming matchup. H/T MMA Fighting)

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Who wins this weekend, Israel Adesanya or Sean Strickland?