5 reasons to watch UFC 263: Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori IIMay 27, 2021
On June 12th, the UFC visits Glendale, Arizona, for what promises to be one of 2021’s biggest shows in the form of UFC 263: Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori II.
Not only does UFC 263 feature two major UFC title fights, but it also features the return of one of the promotion’s biggest stars in the form of Nate Diaz.
The show hardly needs any more hype, but here are five reasons why you need to watch UFC 263.
#1 Israel Adesanya will look to show why he remains one of the UFC’s greatest fighters – but Marvin Vettori will be looking for the upset
Marvin Vettori will be hoping to upset Israel Adesanya at UFC 263.
The main event of UFC 263 sees UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya return to action as he defends his title against top contender Marvin Vettori.
The fight is a rematch of their earlier clash in 2018 that saw a largely inexperienced Adesanya outpoint Vettori over three rounds. However, plenty of things have changed since then.
Adesanya is now widely recognized as the world’s best 185lber. Meanwhile, Vettori has put together five straight wins, defeating the likes of Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland.
However, if we’re frank, Vettori doesn’t feel as much of a threat to Adesanya as Yoel Romero or Paulo Costa did. And both men were comprehensively beaten by The Last Stylebender.
The reason this fight is so intriguing is that after suffering his first UFC loss to Jan Blachowicz in his failed attempt to claim the UFC light heavyweight title, nobody can be sure how Adesanya will bounce back.
Vettori seems like a good opponent for him when it comes to restoring his reputation as one of the UFC’s most dominant fighters.
But other UFC champions – Max Holloway comes to mind – have struggled for traction following failed attempts to claim a second title.
So will Adesanya get back on track here? Or will his hangover from UFC 259 continue? UFC 263 is worth watching, if only to find out the answer to this question.
#2 The rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno promises to be awesome
Deiveson Figueiredo’s first fight with Brandon Moreno was an awesome one.
2020 was packed with excellent UFC fights. But the UFC flyweight title clash between champ Deiveson Figueiredo and challenger Brandon Moreno may well have been the best of the lot.
The two men went to war for 25 minutes, with the fight dramatically ending in a draw when all was said and done.
So are they likely to repeat the feat and put on another instant classic here?
Judging by the fighting style of both men, it’s certainly possible. Both Figueiredo and Moreno are aggressive to a fault and have dangerous skills in all areas. Both men are also more than capable of finishing the other.
And who is likely to win? Well, it’s hard to say.
It’s probably fair to suggest that Figueiredo would’ve had his hand raised in the initial fight had it not been for a third-round point deduction. But things certainly weren’t going as smoothly for him as they did against Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez.
Either way, this fight should guarantee some fireworks and makes UFC 263 well worth watching.
#3 Nate Diaz is back
Nate Diaz remains one of the UFC’s biggest stars.
UFC 262’s loss has proven to be UFC 263’s gain. Fans in attendance in Glendale are now set to see the return of one of the UFC’s biggest stars in the form of Nate Diaz.
Diaz hasn’t fought inside the octagon since his November 2019 loss to Jorge Masvidal. He has only won one fight since 2016 – a grinding win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241.
But Diaz’s shadow still looms large over both the UFC lightweight and welterweight divisions. His status as a major drawing card means he’s never too far away from a surprise UFC title shot.
The UFC have hardly handed him a softball for his big return, though.
Leon Edwards is currently ranked at #3 in the UFC’s welterweight division. The Brit hasn’t lost since he faced current champion Kamaru Usman back in 2015 – a run spanning nine fights.
And with a takedown-heavy style as well as some strong kicks, Rocky feels like a nightmare opponent for Stockton’s favorite son.
So can Diaz pull off a huge upset and throw himself right back into UFC welterweight title contention? Or is his time up?
The only way to find out for sure will be by watching UFC 263.
#4 Drew Dober is in action
Drew Dober is one of the UFC’s most reliable action fighters.
Some fighters may never hold a UFC title, but their fighting style makes them a must-see attraction every time they step into the octagon.
Lightweight contender Drew Dober is almost definitely one of those fighters.
Dober’s UFC record stands at 9-6-1 – hardly the most outstanding ledger in the promotion. And his recent loss to Islam Makhachev means that he’s miles away from the title picture right now.
But the Nebraska native practically guarantees a wild fight each and every time he pulls on his gloves.
Dober is a heavy-handed striker with knockout power and a ridiculous amount of aggression. His fights with Alexander Hernandez, Polo Reyes and Beneil Dariush are amongst the better ones we’ve been treated to in the UFC in recent years.
UFC 263 pits him against a fellow striker in the form of New Zealand’s Brad Riddell. It feels like we’re almost guaranteed a wild fight from the two lightweights.
So while this clash hasn’t made UFC 263’s main card, it’ll definitely make the preliminary card worth checking out.
#5 Jamahal Hill is one of the UFC’s best prospects
Jamahal Hill is one of the best prospects in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
After a somewhat fallow period, the UFC light heavyweight division now seems to be full of rising prospects. Names like Jiri Prochazka, Aleksandar Rakic and Magomed Ankalaev instantly come to mind.
Another top prospect at 205lbs is in action at UFC 263, as Jamahal Hill faces Paul Craig in the main card’s opener.
An awkward but effective striker, Hill has looked fantastic in his UFC career thus far. He most recently knocked out longtime contender Ovince St. Preux.
Paul Craig, meanwhile, is coming off the biggest win of his UFC career. He took out former UFC champion Mauricio Shogun Rua in the first round of their clash at UFC 255.
A win over Craig wouldn’t throw Hill right into title contention, but it’d definitely be a marker that he’s one of the names to watch at 205lbs.
If Hill can win impressively, it’ll definitely be interesting to see how far he can go in the UFC.