Leon Edwards is a big favorite to defeat Nate Diaz on Saturday night at UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2. These two were supposed to meet at UFC 262, but Diaz pulled out due to a minor injury. This fight will be making UFC history, as it will be the first non-title fight that is scheduled for five rounds. Edwards is 18-3 in his career, while Diaz is 20-12. There are a total of five fights on the main pay-per-view card on UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2, with the headliner a bout between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori. There are also a total of nine fights on the preliminary card on ESPN, ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass. Let’s look at the bout between Edwards and Diaz and UFC picks.
UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 takes place at Gila River Arena on Saturday, June 12 with five fights on the main pay-per-view card and nine preliminary bouts, with four on ESPN and ESPN+ and five on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori II Betting
Leon Edwards (18-3-1, 10-2 UFC)
Edwards came into the UFC with a record of 8-1 and he has 10 wins, two losses and a no contest in the UFC. In his last five fights he is 4-0-1. He is coming off a no contest against Belal Muhammad in March. Edwards won by unanimous decision against Rafael dos Anjos in July 2019, won a split decision against Gunnar Nelson in March of 2019, won a unanimous decision against Donald Cerrone in June of 2018 and won by TKO against Peter Sobotta in March of 2018. Edwards has been a pro since 2011 and he has six wins by TKO/KO and three by submission. He has four first round finishes.
Nate Diaz (20-12, 15-10 UFC)
Diaz came into the UFC with a record of 5-2 and he has 15 wins and 10 losses in the UFC. He is 3-2 in his last five fights. He is coming off a TKO loss to Jorge Masvidal in November of 2019. Diaz won a unanimous decision against Anthony Pettis in August of 2019, lost a majority decision to Conor McGregor in August of 2016, won by submission against McGregor in March of 2016 and won a unanimous decision against Michael Johnson in December of 2015. Diaz has been a pro since 2004 and he has five wins by TKO/KO and 11 by submission. He has eight first round finishes.
Diaz has been bragging about his longevity in the UFC. “I’ve been fighting for the last 10, 15 years,” Diaz said to the media, “I’ve done it all. I’ve fought all these guys, and done more and done better than anybody. Keeping it real all the way through. I’m like the triathletes, we get better with age. Nobody has stayed on top as long as me, and I’m still headlining shows. I’m out there to show people I’ll beat the best of the best. If I’m not going to fight the biggest fight I could possibly find, I’m gonna fight the best fighter that I could possibly find.
Diaz is well aware he has a tough matchup against Edwards. “He’s got all the wins. I’ve got a tough task on my hand,” Diaz said to the media, “I’ll be out there trying to beat him down. I’ve got try to win from everywhere, the best that I can.”
Strikes landed per minute: Edwards 2.56/ Diaz 4.62
Striking Accuracy: Edwards 47% / Diaz 45%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Edwards 2.03/ Diaz 3.78
Defense: Edwards 55% / Diaz 53%
Takedown average: Edwards 1.35/ Diaz 1.19
Takedown Accuracy: Edwards 30% / Diaz 30%
Takedowns defended: Edwards 70% / Diaz 42%
Submission average: Edwards 0.4/ Diaz 1.4
There is no question that Edwards is the superior fighter, but he is listed as about a 6-1 favorite. I don’t lay that type of price so I will look at the rounds. These two are likely to trade big shots, and while a finish is possible, neither has great finishing power. These two wanted this fight to be scheduled for five rounds and I expect it to go the distance, so I will go over 4.5 rounds.
UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori II Card & Odds
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori +201 vs. Israel Adesanya -260
Flyweight: Brandon Moreno +179 vs. Deiveson Figueiredo -230
Light Heavyweight: Paul Craig +221 vs. Jamahal Hill -290
Welterweight: Demian Maia +179 vs. Belal Muhammad -230
Welterweight: Nate Diaz +405 vs. Leon Edwards -600
Heavyweight: Jake Collier +139 vs. Carlos Felipe -175
Lightweight: Fares Ziam -145 vs. Luigi Vendramini +115
Featherweight: Hakeem Dawodu +186 vs. Movsar Evloev -240
Women's Flyweight: Joanne Calderwood -150 vs. Lauren Murphy +120
Lightweight: Frank Camacho +168 vs. Matt Frevola -215
Lightweight: Drew Dober -140 vs. Brad Riddell +110
Featherweight: Steven Peterson -120 vs. Chase Hooper -110
Light Heavyweight: Eryk Anders -145 vs. Darren Stewart +115
Women's Bantamweight: Alexis Davis +165 vs. Pannie Kianzad -210
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