UFC 263 goes down this weekend in Glendale, Arizona as middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defends his title in a rematch with Marvin Vettori in the main event.
In another rematch in the co-main event, Deiveson Figueiredo defends his flyweight title against Brandon Moreno. Elsewhere on the card, Leon Edwards welcomes Nate Diaz back into the Octagon in the first-ever non-title, non-main event five-round fight, Demian Maia takes on Belal Muhammad and Paul Craig takes on undefeated prospect Jamahal Hill in a light heavyweight contest.
Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori 2
Much has changed since Israel Adesanya beat Marvin Vettori via split-decision in their first meeting in 2018. Both fighters have come leaps and bounds since then and their fight at UFC 263 should be much more competitive than the first one.
Adesanya is one of the best strikers in all of MMA. His precision, agility, movement and counter striking sets him apart from the rest of the guys in his division, and Vettori is no different. However, the Italian has the best chin in the division, so knocking him out would be a tough task for the reigning champion. That said, if the fight stays on the feet, Adesanya will pick his foe apart and churn out a decision victory, if he fails to finish him.
Vettori’s obvious route to victory is on the mat. His wrestling has gotten incredibly great over the years and coupled with his strength and pressure, it will cause Adesanya lots of problems. If Vettori keeps pressuring Adesanya and forces him on the back foot, he has a solid chance of dethroning the middleweight king.
It won’t be an easy fight for either of the two gentlemen, and it all comes down to who executes his game plan better at UFC 263.
Officially less than a week out 🙌
— UFC (@ufc) June 6, 2021
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno 2
Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fought to a majority draw in their first battle at UFC 256, which was a Fight of the Year contender. Their rematch isn’t going to be any different, at least that’s what the fans are hoping for.
Figueiredo is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the UFC. He’s an excellent striker, who’s got incredible speed and power in his hands, but he’s also a world-class grappler, with eight submission wins to his name.
Moreno isn’t as technical when it comes to striking, but his style is very effective, as seen in their previous fight. Moreno is also very durable, and he’s never been finished in his career, which allows him the freedom to engage in slugfests because he trusts his chin. If he continues to absorb Figueiredo’s best shots and still continues to move forward, he will surely frustrate the champion, potentially tiring him out, because the champ is used to making light work of his opponents.
Moreno is primarily a grappler, but he will have a hard time taking the fight to the ground. All in all, Figueiredo has more in his toolbox, but Moreno will surely put up a great fight.
🇧🇷 Ready for the encore 🇲🇽
— UFC (@ufc) June 8, 2021
Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz
Leon Edwards is a very tough comeback fight for Nate Diaz. The Brit is the number three ranked welterweight contender, with championship-level qualities. Diaz is one of the most exciting and popular fighters in the world, but he doesn’t match very well with Edwards.
Not only is ‘Rocky’ younger, he’s also a better striker and a very solid grappler, and his all-around abilities will cause a lot of trouble for the Stockton native. That said, Diaz also has his chances, with his high-pressure fighting style, and two-inch reach advantage. If he somehow turns his fight with Edwards into a slugfest, Diaz will have a better chance of winning it.
However, Rocky isn’t the kind of fighter to get carried away with emotions. He’s very smart and compact and understands the fight business very well. Diaz would need something truly special to come out victorious at UFC 263.
Demian Maia vs Belal Muhammad
Demian Maia vs Belal Muhammad is a good old grappler vs striker match. Maia is a veteran of the sport, but at 43 years old, he’s certainly a shadow of his prime self. That said, he’s still a tough challenge for any up-and-coming contender in the division, especially when the fight goes to the mat.
Maia has subpar striking, but his grappling is out of this world. Muhammad is the better striker in this fight, with a background in wrestling. The fight is pretty straightforward; if Maia gets it to the mat, he’s going to find an opening one way or another, but if Muhammad manages to keep it on the feet, he’s going to get his hand raised on the night.
Paul Craig vs Jamahal Hill
Paul Craig vs Jamahal Hill is another grappler vs striker contest.
Hill definitely has the advantage on the feet. He’s very good at using his length and keeping opponents at the end of his strikes. Paul Craig is not much of a threat on the outside. He’s primarily a grappler, so he would be looking to take the fight to the mat at the first opportunity he gets.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) June 7, 2021
What are your predictions for UFC 263, headlined by Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori?
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