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3 fights to look forward to and 2 fights that will likely disappoint at UFC 263

UFC 263: Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2 [Photo courtesy: @ufc on Instagram]
UFC 263: Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2 [Photo courtesy: @ufc on Instagram]
ANALYST

The biggest MMA event of June is just around the corner. UFC 263 is shaping up to be a memorable pay-per-view event as it features two title fights and a historic bout that will see the return of one of the biggest stars in the UFC.

Needless to say, UFC 263 is a must-watch for MMA die-hards and casual fans alike. However, UFC 263 is not a flawless fight card by any stretch, as there will probably be a few duds as well.

On that note, let's look at three fights to look forward to and two bouts that will probably disappoint at UFC 263.


Fight to look forward to at UFC 263: Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz will make his highly-anticipated octagon return against number three-ranked welterweight Leon Edwards at UFC 263. The pair will make history as they compete in the first-ever five-round non-title fight outside the main and co-main event.

Edwards was itching for action after being sidelined throughout 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic-related cancelations. His most recent fight with Belal Muhammad ended a mere 18 seconds into the second round after Muhammad took an accidental eye poke and couldn't continue.

Meanwhile, Diaz has been away from the octagon for almost two years. He last fought in 2019, losing to Jorge Masvidal via TKO in their matchup for the celebratory 'BMF' title.


Fight that will likely disappoint: Eryk Anders vs. Darren Stewart 2

UFC Fight Night: Eryk Anders vs Darren Stewart
UFC Fight Night: Eryk Anders vs Darren Stewart

Eryk 'Ya Boi' Anders and Darren Stewart are running it back after their first fight at UFC Vegas 21 ended in a no-contest. Referee Herb Dean waived the fight off after Anders inadvertently landed an illegal elbow on the head of a downed Stewart.

Their first fight didn't last very long, but it was a wild back-and-forth with Stewart coming out firing on all cylinders and Anders rallying back. This should be an exciting fight on paper, given that there's unfinished business between the two.

The only worry about this bout is that it will take place at light heavyweight, a weight class that both men aren't used to fighting in. There's a possibility that the adjustments these competitors have to make could affect their performance.


Fight to look forward to: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno

UFC 256: Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno
UFC 256: Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno

In the co-main event of UFC 263, UFC flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo and number one-ranked 125-pounder Brandon Moreno will run it back after earning 'Fight of the Night' honors in their initial bout at UFC 256.

Both competitors agreed to fight on short notice in their first go-round as they came off easy wins in their UFC 255 bouts. A shortened training camp wasn't an issue for either man, as Figueiredo and Moreno put on an instant classic that ended in a majority draw.

At UFC 263, though, the champion and challenger will benefit from having ample time to rest and recover, as well as going through a complete training camp. Given how well Figueiredo and Moreno match up with each other, there's a good chance UFC 263 won't be the final chapter of their rivalry.


Fight that will likely disappoint: Demian Maia vs. Belal Muhammad

Demian Maia will take on Belal Muhammad in a classic veteran vs. rising star matchup at UFC 263. Each will try to get back into the win column as Maia comes off a devastating TKO loss while Muhammad's last fight ended in a no-contest.

The fight might disappoint fans as it could turn out to be a lopsided affair in favor of the younger fighter Muhammad. At 43-years-old, Maia has to tread carefully as he's dangerously getting close to Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone territory.


Fight to look forward to: Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2

Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori [Photo courtesy: @ufc on Twitter]
Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori [Photo courtesy: @ufc on Twitter]

A rematch between bitter rivals Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori will headline UFC 263. The matchup has all the ingredients needed to make for a surefire main event clash.

A legitimate bad-blood rivalry? Check. History in the form of a controversial first fight? Check. An interesting clash of styles? Check.

In their first encounter, Adesanya walked away with a narrow split decision victory. This time, neither man will be satisfied with letting the judges decide their fate once again. With that in mind, fans can expect nothing but fireworks from the main event of UFC 263.


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Edited by Utathya Ghosh
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