UFC 263 Predictions – Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori: Fight Card, Odds, Expert Picks, Prelims
Saturday’s UFC 263 promises an action-packed night. The card features a pair of headline title fights, with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya putting his belt up to win in a rematch with Marvin Vettori and flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo defending against Brandon Moreno in one match. revenge for one of the best fights of 2020.
Despite the relatively difficult challenge Adesanya faced as Vettori ended up being the only person to take a scorecard from him to become the 185-pound champion, he needs a solid performance following his loss to Jan Blachowicz to the Light Heavyweight Title. A second straight loss could send the New Zealand native back to the drawing board with his team at City Kickboxing while a victory for Vettori would crown the first Italian champion in UFC history.
In the other title fight, Figueiredo and Moreno stepped in with less than a month’s notice to headline UFC 256 last December. The two had won their fights at UFC 255 when the UFC called. They responded with what UFC President Dana White called the biggest fight in flyweight history. Figueiredo retained his belt when the two fought for a majority draw, a result achieved when Figueiredo was taken one point away for a low blow.
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The UFC didn’t disappoint with this latest PPV offer as the map is incredibly deep. The featured slot sees the return of fan favorite Nate Diaz as he takes on top welterweight contender Leon Edwards. Both men are in desperate need of a big win and a star performance. In addition, former title challenger Demian Maia is back against Belal Muhammad. And a light and heavy banger opens the proceedings when Jamahal Hill faces off against Paul Craig.
With so much going on on Saturday night, let’s take a closer look at the full fight card with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook before moving on to our staff’s predictions and choices for the PPV portion of the festivities.
UFC 263 fight card, odds
Odds via William Hill Sportsbook
- Israel Adesanya (c) -260 v Marvin Vettori +210, middleweight championship
- Deiveson Figueiredo (c) -190 v Brandon Moreno +160, flyweight championship
- Leon Edwards -550 vs. Nate Diaz +400, welterweight
- Belal Muhammad -220 v Demian Maia +180, welterweight
- Jamahal Hill -270 v Paul Craig +220, light heavyweight
- Drew Dober -150 vs. Brad Riddell +125, lightweight
- Eryk Anders -150 vs. Darren Stewart +125, light heavyweight
- Joanne Calderwood -140 vs. Lauren Murphy +120, flyweight women
- Movsar Evloev -240 vs. Hakeem Dawodu +200, featherweight
- Pannie Kianzad -200 vs. Alexis Davis +170, female bantamweight
- Matt Frevola -220 v Terrance McKinney +180, lightweight
- Steven Peterson -120 vs. Chase Hooper +100, featherweight
- Fares Ziam -135 vs. Luigi Vendramini +115, lightweight
- Carlos Felipe -175 v Jake Collier +150, heavyweight
With such a massive main event, the CBS Sports team went ahead with predictions and picks for the main card. Here are your coaches: Brent Brookhouse (Combat Sports Writer), Brian Campbell (Combat Sports Writer, “Morning Kombat” co-host), Matthew Coca (Producer), Jack Crosby (Editor), Michael Mormile (Producer) and Brandon Wise (editor-in-chief).
UFC 263 pick, predictions
|Adesanya (c) vs. Vettori||Adesanya||Adesanya||Adesanya||Adesanya||Adesanya|
|Figueiredo (c) v Moreno||Figueiredo||Moreno||Figueiredo||Moreno||Figueiredo|
|Edwards vs. Diaz||Edwards||Edwards||Edwards||Edwards||Diaz|
|Muhammad vs. Maia||Maia||Mohammed||Mohammed||Mohammed||Mohammed|
|Craig vs. Hill||Craig||Craig||hill||hill||hill|
|Records to date (2021)||20-9||17-12||20-9||19-10||18-11|
Campbell explains why Adesanya will win: The level at which Vettori actually had success against Adesanya in their 2018 reunion – coincidentally, held in the same arena – was vastly exaggerated both by Vettori and by the impact of the only judge who scored him in his favor. Although Vettori was finally able to take Adesanya to the ground in the third round, he was largely ineffective and was eventually lifted by the referee. The majority of the fight saw Adesanya outsmart his foe in a close range kickboxing match. While Vettori was to some extent successful with his head punches, it was his durability that largely made the fight more competitive than it actually was. With a lot to prove after an unsuccessful attempt for the 205-pound title, expect Adesanya to be as strong as ever to deal with the pressure from Vettori en route to a late stop.
Brookhouse explains why Adesanya will win: I really believe Vettori could win this fight if he manages to turn up the really ugly things. Campbell is correct that the first fight took on a legacy that is detached from reality. Vettori had some success, he did not have awesome Success. That said, he constantly improved as Jan Blachowicz presented a plan to beat Adesanya. Much of what made Blachowicz so successful was his size and power. Vettori might be a big strong middleweight, but it’s not a Blachowicz-level threat that will give Adesanya the same reluctance to open the attack. Vettori’s victory wouldn’t shock me, but Adesanya should be able to separate Vettori and possibly get a mid-fight stoppage.
Campbell explains why Figueiredo will win: Even though the first meeting between these two was really in December when they co-wrote five Fury series, there is an argument to be made that Moreno caught Figueiredo at the perfect time. Headlining his second straight UFC pay-per-view in three weeks and entering his fourth overall appearance for the calendar year, Figueiredo was on the edge of his throat while completing his candidacy for Fighter of the Year . The champion was also docked at a key point for a low blow in Round 3 which played a huge role in making the fight a majority draw. Given seven months to re-equip his body and mind, Figueiredo should be able to correct his mistakes in the first fight by pacing himself a little better as a bigger striker and threat of submission.
Brookhouse explains why Moreno will win: Moreno’s tenacity was the biggest thing that troubled Figueiredo in the first fight. Figueiredo spent a year really beating his opponents, but he appeared to be frustrated when Moreno took his punches and continued to strike back. Figueiredo’s faults did not seem so accidental as the product of that frustration. Moreno seemed to understand Figueiredo as well as the laps went by. I love that Moreno can take the insight he gathered in the first fight and make adjustments to take advantage of his high pace and stop Figueiredo’s aggression just enough to secure a close victory.
Campbell explains why Edwards will win: Diaz, 36, is taking some sort of risk by signing up to fight Edwards’ only welterweight, who leads an eight-game winning streak very few have tried to seek. Could a win lead Diaz to an unlikely final with a 170-pound title shot? This seems to be the reward to justify the challenge. In a rare five-round fight that isn’t a main event, Diaz will have his chance in what must be seen as an uphill battle. Edwards is too quick, quick, and calculated to succumb to Diaz’s mind games and strike back. He’s also had enough bad luck to build a chip on his shoulder that Edwards will seek to unload. While Diaz is a fighter who tends to improve as the fight goes on, he’s also prone to cuts and is there to get punched against elite attackers. Now is the time for Edwards to shine. To finish.
Who wins Adesanya against Vettori 2? And which fighter is a must-have? Visit SportsLine now for the top picks detailed on UFC 263, all from the ultimate insider who earned nearly $ 9,500 on MMA picks over the past year, and find out.