The UFC will head to Glendale, Arizona for UFC 263 on Saturday night at the Gila River Arena where two world titles will be on the line.

In the main event, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his title against Marvin Vettori. These two fought each other three years ago in this same venue and Adesanya won that bout via split decision.

The co-main event also features another rematch UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo will defend his belt against no. 1 contender, Brandon Moreno. These two fought to a draw in their first meeting at UFC 256 in a fight where Figueiredo was sick.

Let’s take a look at the fights scheduled for UFC 263.

“Fighting" Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori

Adesanya is the reigning UFC middleweight champion. The 31-year old Nigerian-born New Zealander is a former GLORY kickboxing middleweight title challenger. The Last Stylebender won the Hex Fighting Series middleweight title in Australia before joining the UFC. He won his first nine UFC bouts, before losing to Jan Blachowicz in an attempt to win the light heavyweight title at UFC 259. Izzy is 20-1 with 15 knockouts and stands 6-4 tall with an 80-inch reach while fighting as a switch-hitter.

Marvin Vettori is the no. 3 ranked middleweight in the UFC. The 27-year old from Italy is a former Venator FC welterweight champion. The Italian Dream has won five straight UFC bouts after losing to Adesanya via split decision three years ago. Vettori is 17-4 with two knockouts and seven submission wins. He is a southpaw who is six feet tall with a reach of 74 inches.

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Odds from BetOnline as of 06/11/2021

No question, Vettori has the puncher’s chance here but if this fight stays on the feet, it’s going to be Israel Adesanya who will be winning the fight. Not only is Adesanya a master of distance, but he also has the killer’s instinct to put Vettori away if the Italian isn’t careful.

Vettori’s path to victory here could be to grind Adesanya on the ground. The Italian has a good takedown offense and we’ve seen what happened to Adesanya when Blachowicz put him on his back. While Vettori is no Division 1 wrestler, he is no slouch on the ground and could control the fight there.

All things considered, this is still Adesanya’s division and no matter what Vettori says, Izzy beat him the first time out. I don’t think this will be as close as the first bout. Adesanya returns to form in his weight class and racks up another successful title defense.

Prediction: Israel Adesanya

“Fighting" Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno

Deiveson Figueiredo is the current UFC flyweight champion. The 33-year old Brazilian is the no. 10 ranked pound for pound fighter in the promotion. Figueiredo is 9-1-1 inside the UFC Octagon and has not lost a match since dropping a decision to Jussier Formiga in 2019. He has a record of 20-1 with nine knockouts and eight submission wins. Figueiredo is an orthodox fighter who stands 5-5 tall with a 68-inch reach.

Brandon Moreno is the no. 1 ranked flyweight in the UFC. The 27-year old Mexican is a former LFA flyweight champion who joined the UFC in 2019. Moreno is undefeated in five UFC bouts but with two draws. He is 18-5 with three knockouts and 10 submission wins and has two draws. Moreno is 5-7 tall with a 70-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 06/11/2021

The first bout between these two was terrific but I’d be surprised if the rematch is half as competitive. Sure, Moreno surprised many in that first bout but lightning won’t strike twice here.

Figueiredo was legitimately ill in the first bout and he’s the kind of fighter who can make adjustments. The champion is the more well-rounded fighter and he is also the bigger fighter between the two.

Moreno will not go away easily because he thinks that he has Fiegueiredo’s number. However, I don’t see him doing anything news this time around. Moreno was already at his best during the first bout and he couldn’t win the fight against a sick Figueiredo.

Figgy has seen his game and knows what to do this time around. I like to see the champion make the right adjustments and make the judges’ job much easier.

Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo

“Fighting" Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz

Leon Edwards is the no. 3 ranked welterweight in the UFC. The 29-year old British-Jamaican mixed martial artist a former BAMMA welterweight champion. Edwards is undefeated in his last nine bouts although his last one ended in a draw after an accidental eye poke. Rocky has a record of 18-3 with six knockouts and three submission wins. He is a southpaw who stands 6-2 tall with a 74-inch reach.

Nate Diaz is a veteran who has competed for WEC, Strikeforce, and Pancrase. The winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5, Nate is the younger brother of former Strikeforce and WEC welterweight champion, Nick Diaz. Nate is just 4-5 in his last nine UFC bouts and has an overall record of 20-12 with five knockouts and 11 submission wins. Diaz is also a southpaw who stands six feet tall with a reach of 76 inches.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 06/11/2021

Nate Diaz may be nothing more than a name on the resume right now. He’s not fought in two years and he was never even a serious contender at lightweight. I mean sure, he’s going to get the fans to watch this event but aside from the bravado and confidence, he doesn’t have a shot here against a bigger and more talented opponent.

Edwards will pepper Diaz, who isn’t hard to hit, with strikes on the feet. Diaz has never been a power puncher and because of that, Edwards won’t be afraid to take his chances.

Unless Nate gets a miracle submission here, this should be an easy win for Leon Edwards who will get the title shot after Colby Covington.

Prediction: Leon Edwards

“Fighting" Demian Maia vs Belal Muhammad

Demian Maia is the no. 9 ranked welterweight in the UFC. The 43-year old Brazilian is one of the best submission artists in the history of the game. He previously challenged for the middleweight title against Anderson Silva and the welterweight title against Tyron Woodley. Maia is 3-4 in his last seven bouts and is coming off a March 2020 TKO loss to Gilbert Burns. He is a southpaw who is 6-1 tall with a 72-inch reach. Maia is 28-10 with three knockouts and 14 submission wins.

Belal Muhammad is the no. 12 ranked welterweight in the UFC and a former fighter at Bellator and Titan FC. The 32-year old from Chicago has lost just once in his last 10 bouts with one draw, which came in his most recent bout against Leon Edwards. He has a record of 18-3 with four knockouts and one submission win. Muhammad is 5-11 tall with a 72-inch reach and fights out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 06/11/2021

Hats off to Demian Maia for extending his career. No question, he is one of the greatest submission artists we’ve ever seen in the game. But Father Time is undefeated and we’ve seen Maia get slower in his recent fights. He may be too slow now that Muhammad will stuff his takedown attempts.

Muhammad is on a roll and I think he will light up Maia on the feet. The Brazilian is no longer the same submission threat he was in the past. I don’t think that he can take Muhammad’s back in this one. I hope it won’t be a sad ending but unless Muhammad gets sloppy and commits too many mistakes, I think this could be the end of Demian Maia’s career.

Prediction: Belal Muhmmad

“Fighting" Paul Craig vs Jamahal Hill

Paul Craig is a former BAMMA light heavyweight champion. The 33-year old from Scotland is the no. 14 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. He is unbeaten in his last four UFC bouts with one draw and two Performance of the Night awards. Craig has a record of 14-4 with two knockouts and 12 submission wins. He is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 76 inches.

Jamahal Hill is currently the no. 15 light heavyweight in the UFC. The 30-year old from Chicago, Illinois joined the UFC via the Contender Series and is unbeaten in three UFC bouts although one was overturned into a no-contest after Hill failed a drug test. He is 8-0 with four knockouts and one submission win. Hill stands 6-4 tall with a 79-inch reach while fighting out of the southpaw stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 06/11/2021

This is a fight card where there are many potential upsets and this one is on top of my list. I like what Hill has done in the UFC but Craig is a live underdog here.

The Scotsman is tough as nails and he has a motor that was built for a 25-minute fight. Hill will hunt for the head as usual but Craig is going to get his hands on Hill’s neck and choke him out.

Prediction: Paul Craig

“Fighting" Drew Dober vs Brad Riddell

Drew Dober is no. 13 in the UFC’s lightweight rankings. The 32-year old from Omaha, Nebraska fought for Victory Fighting Championships and Titan FC among other promotions. He joined the UFC in 2013 and is 8-3 in his last 11 UFC bouts. Dober has a record of 23-10 with 10 knockouts and six submission wins. He is a southpaw who stands 5-8 tall with a 70-inch reach.

Brad Riddell won the welterweight title at the Wollongong Wars promotion in Australia. The 29-year old is a former kickboxer who is undefeated in three UFC bouts. Riddell is 9-1 with five knockouts. He has not fought since winning a unanimous decision over Alex da Silva Coelho in September of last year. Riddell is an orthodox fighter who is 5-7 tall and has a 71-inch reach.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 06/11/2021

Dober figures to thrive in what will likely be a striking affair because of his kickboxing background. With Riddell known as a slow starter, Dober’s power could catch him early. But Riddell may be tough enough to survive the early onslaught and once he gets his game going, he is going to outstrike Dober with better combinations. This should be a fun striking battle between two fighters with excellent gas tanks. But the more technically sound fighter should win this.

Prediction: Brad Riddell

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