UFC 293 Props: 4 MMA Prop Squad Picks for Adesanya vs. Strickland, Tuivasa vs. Volkov & More (Saturday, September 9)

UFC 293 Props: 4 MMA Prop Squad Picks for Adesanya vs. Strickland, Tuivasa vs. Volkov & More (Saturday, September 9) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Sean Strickland

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC 293 prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's Adesanya vs. Strickland pay-per-view event.

Each Prop Squad installment features a handful of prop picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied +5.4 units and a +2.2% ROI per bet to date.

We finally halted the cold streak last week with a +330 hit, and now we're shooting for even juicier props for tonight's big UFC 293 pay-per-view event in Sydney, Australia.

This week marks the return of squad members Tony Sartori, Dan Tom, Clint MacLean and Billy Ward.

Below, check out their picks for Saturday's event, which streams on ESPN+ PPV (10 p.m. ET) following prelims on ESPNews (8 p.m. ET) and ESPN+ (6:30 p.m. ET).

As with all betting endeavors, always wager within your means. That guidance is especially important when dealing with prop bets. Although the props often offer tantalizing odds, they also cash far less frequently than standard bet types. And be sure to shop around for the best price since prop odds can vary substantially depending on the sportsbook.

Tony Sartori: Chepe Mariscal via Submission (+1200)

Contributor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:25 p.m. ET

On the UFC 293 early prelims, Jack Jenkins and Chepe Mariscal will meet in a featherweight fight.

An entertaining prospect at 145 pounds, Jenkins enters this bout amid a nine-fight winning streak and continues to show his well-rounded MMA arsenal with solid striking and grappling. With that said, his latest split-decision victory over Jamall Emmers was controversial, to say the least.

Every single media score had the fight going in favor of Emmers, with roughly half of them giving the losing fighter all three rounds.

Don't get me wrong; I enjoy watching Jenkins in the octagon as much as anyone else, but he is a very flawed fighter who is sometimes over-aggressive and can find himself in compromising situations on the mat.

That is the area where Mariscal could pull off the upset. Mariscal is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Trevor Peek in June, another fighter who is entertaining but whose over-aggressiveness can get himself in trouble.

Mariscal's grappling ultimately won him that fight, and there is no doubt that there will be extended portions of this bout against Jenkins that end up on the mat.

So you're telling me that, in a fight where there will be extended grappling sequences between two aggressive fighters and the underdog boasts three professional submission wins while each of Jenkins' two professional losses has come via submission, there is only a  7.7% chance that Mariscal wins by that method?

I don't buy that, so I will gladly take a flyer on his submission prop at 12-1.

The Pick: Chepe Mariscal via submission (+1200 at BetMGM)

Dan Tom: Tyson Pedro by Decision (+500)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya' Neck podcast

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 9:55 p.m. ET

For this week's Prop Squad submission, I decided to target a main-card attraction between Tyson Pedro and Anton Turkalj.

Although both men have traditionally been first-round-or-bust fighters throughout their careers, I believe that this is the perfect stylistic storm to capitalize on "over" and decision angles.

Pedro's struggles past the first round may have reared its head in his last outing opposite Modestas Bukauskas, but it's important to keep in mind that the Australian fighter was facing a short-notice replacement and was rumored to have been dealing with an injury.

This will also be Pedro's third full camp with the City Kickboxing team, so I wouldn't put any potential improvements past the 31-year-old in this spot.

Turkalj, on the other hand, is a wildman who primarily relies on the threat of his grappling prowess to produce opportunistic win conditions.

But with Pedro possessing better wrestling and solid submission skills himself, I suspect that the grappling will be a wash and that Turkalj will end up having to survive on his toughness.

Add in the fact that neither fighter seems to have enough power or process to reliably score a one-shot knockout, and I feel surprisingly good about sprinkling on Pedro at 5-1 odds to nab a hometown decision in a showcase spot.

The Pick: Tyson Pedro by decision (+500 at BetRivers)

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for UFC bettors
The best UFC betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Clint MacLean: Tai Tuivasa via Round 2 KO (+1100)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:25 p.m. ET

Tai Tuivasa is the biggest KO threat at UFC 293. The Australian heavyweight is coming into UFC 293 as a huge underdog to Alexander Volkov because of both fighters' recent runs.

Tuivasa is 0-2 whereas Volkov is 2-0, and that is giving us a glorious opportunity to hopefully make a pile this weekend.

Volkov has been KO'd only twice in his professional career, and the most accurate opponent comparison to Tuivasa is one of the two men to pull this off in Derick Lewis.

Tuivasa hits harder and is faster than Lewis, and while Volkov has been elite, he is getting older. The Russian has struggled his entire career against fighters who can crash the pocket and are faster than he is. Tom Aspinall crashed the pocket and landed clean prior to the fight hitting the mat.

Lewis took three rounds to figure out the timing, but once he did, he crashed the pocket and ended the fight.

Even Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who fell to Volkov, was able to crash the pocket and land a clean hook prior to the fight ending.

Tuivasa is in front of his home crowd, and his hand speed is going to be on display. We can count on Volkov's durability in the first round, but after that, I believe Tai will turn up the heat and put an early end to Volkov's night.

Shoeys for everybody!

Pick: Tai Tuivasa via Round 2 KO (+1100)

Billy Ward: Sean Strickland (+500)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:55 p.m. ET

Listen, I know it’s called the Prop Squad, but a 5-1 moneyline play fits the spirit of what we’re doing here, if not the letter. That’s the line on Sean Strickland as he looks to make good on his unlikely title shot against champ Israel Adesanya.

In a classic blunder by the UFC, they brought Adesanya into the cage to face off with Dricus du Plessis following DDPs recent knockout win. Naturally, DDP was dealing with some injuries, and he was unable to make the date the UFC had already decided Adesanya was fighting on.

Enter Strickland, whose best ability has long been availability. Strickland has fought nearly everyone at middleweight, officially losing to only Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier – though I’d argue he deserved the decision against Cannonier.

Strickland is always prepared, always in shape, and has a frustrating high-volume style. He’s likely to hang around for all 25 minutes with Adesanya, who’s not known for his finishing ability and prefers to play it safe. That alone gives Strickland a puncher's chance, and he showed his finishing ability in his last outing against Abusupiyan Magomedov.

What if Adesanya comes into this one unprepared? It’s not the craziest thought, given all the heat a potential matchup with du Plessis was generating. It would be easy to look past Strickland if you’re the champ. Strickland is just good enough to punish you – especially in the later rounds – if you take him lightly.

Also, what if somebody reminds Strickland how good he is at grappling? He’s a legitimate high-level competitor who holds his own with some of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world. For some reason he doesn’t really use it in MMA fights – but what if he did?

The element of surprise would certainly be there, and we’ve seen Adesanya’s solid takedown defense exposed when he doesn’t expect his opponent to wrestle (the first Pereira fight comes to mind).

The answer to those questions is probably “no,” but that’s why we’re getting the odds we are here. Still, there are enough paths to victory for Strickland for me to take a stab at the regular moneyline.

But if you're feeling more adventurous, I think it's likelier that Strickland out-cardios Adesanya down the stretch than finishes him in early. At FanDuel the "Strickland in Round 4/5/decision" prop offering comes with +900 odds, and that's a solid option. But I'm content taking the moneyline and accounting for any early-fight chaos instead.

The Pick: Sean Strickland (+500)

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for UFC bettors
The best UFC betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.