Laura Sanko Pumped to Make PPV Debut at UFC 293, Offers Her Take on Adesanya vs. Strickland

Sanko shared her excitement over making her pay-per-view debut at the commentary table this Saturday night at UFC 293

Laura Sanko
Courtesy of @UFCNews on Twitter

Laura Sanko can’t wait to throw on the headset and give her insight into a stacked night of fights at UFC 293.

Making her pay-per-view debut at the commentary table, Sanko will share duties with play-by-play man Jon Anik and UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier as the promotion makes its return to Sydney, Australia for a loaded lineup headlined by a can’t-miss middleweight title clash. Speaking with MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn ahead of her PPV debut, Sanko shared her excitement over the opportunity, revealing that she didn’t expect to be in this position for a few more years.

“It feels awesome. You say it’s a long time coming, but to be honest with you, it was a big surprise,” Sanko said. “I’ve known about it for a few months, but when the call did come, it was actually a massive surprise for me. I didn’t feel like this particular goal would get checked off for a few years if I’m being honest, so I’m surprised, excited, and elated now that it’s here and I’m just ready to go.”

Laura Sanko Believes Sean Strickland Will Make Things Competitive Against Israel Adesanya

In the UFC 293 main event, two-time and reigning middleweight world champion Israel Adesanya will defend his title against outspoken division standout Sean Strickland. Even before the bout was announced, Strickland and Adesanya had been at odds with one another, much of that surrounding Strickland’s unique brand of trash-talk that has made him one of the most polarizing figures in MMA.

Though she can’t offer an official prediction as a member of the commentary team, Laura Sanko suggested that Saturday’s main event will be much more competitive than fans and oddsmakers anticipate. 

“I think Sean knows what he needs to do to win and I do think that this could be a more competitive fight than a lot of people are giving it credit for because I think Sean has a very particular style,” Sanko said. “We often talk about the guys that have really flashy techniques that are hard to emulate in the gym. I would argue that Sean Strickland would be pretty hard to emulate in the gym. Not a lot of people can keep up that particular style of pace.

“The analogy that keeps coming into my mind is, Izzy is a jazz musician. He’s out there bending notes and being extemporaneous with how he expresses himself and Sean Strickland is like thrash metal. He’s in your face and he’s unrelenting and it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it can be very effective. So if Sean can get in there and safely find a way to make this a little bit more of a messy fight. Get in Izzy’s face like he does everybody, but do it safely, unlike he did in the [Alex] Pereira fight… 

“Maybe drag the fight out a little bit longer, which I think this will be a longer fight actually unless he gets slept early somehow by Izzy. Mix in the grappling. I really do think there are not easy paths to victory for Sean, but there are paths. Sean’s not going to win a kickboxing fight against Israel Adesanya, but he could win a fight.”

The winner of the fight will likely find themselves matched up with the division’s top-ranked contender, Dricus Du Plessis. But recently, Adesanya and even UFC President Dana White have suggested that Du Plessis may have to go back to the drawing board after turning down a fight with ‘The Last Stylebender’ for UFC 293. 

“I think Izzy really wants that Dricus fight. There’s a part of him… Whatever it was about Dricus has touched a nerve in him that so far no one has really been able to touch,” Sanko continued. “Sean certainly has touched nerves in other ways, but there’s something about that Dricus fight that I think compels him in a unique way, and at this point in his career, having almost cleaned out the division, you have to have those… You have to get up for a fight. You gotta have that fire. You have the motivation. That nerve that gets touched and I think that’s there for Dricus and I hope it happens.”

Dricus Du Plessis shocked the world in July, scoring a second-round knockout of former middleweight champ Robert Whittaker. Unfortunately, ‘Stillknocks’ was unable to make the relatively short eight-week turnaround to face Adesanya at UFC 293, a decision that could cost him the opportunity altogether. 

Sanko certainly hopes that is not the same. 

“Who knew that this would be the position? Because I for one would have never would have called [Du Plessis] beating Robert Whittaker. Certainly not in the way that he did and it makes that fight with Izzy all the more compelling,” she concluded.


Published on September 7, 2023 at 3:54 pm
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