UFC 263: Adesanya vs Vettori Fight Picks

UFC 263 is one stacked event. The return of Nate Diaz itself is enough to carry a pay-per-view in this day and age, and for this card, it isn’t even the co-main event. A gesture that speaks volumes of the respect the flyweights have earned with the UFC brass over the past couple of years. The rematch between Devison Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will be the continuation of the 2020 fight of the year candidate. To top it all off, The Last Style Bender returns to his home at 185 and is set to defend the Middleweight throne in a rematch against Marvin Vettori. Lot’s to be excited about for this one. 

Israel Adesanya (-280) vs Marvin Vettori (+220) 

Despite coming off of a loss, Fanduel is favoring Adesanya to win against Vettori. Although the loss came against the light heavyweight champion, Adesanya lost unanimously, coming into this fight many figured his latest performance would warrant not being such a sizable favorite over the challenger. Vettori has strung together a nice five-fight win streak since 2019 and has made steady progression with each win as the competition got tougher. Considering how close the fight was when these first two competed, it’s reasonable to expect the fanduel betting odds to be a little closer.

At the end of the day 

While both fighters have made improvements since they last met, it’s Adesanya that has ascended the highest in terms of evolving and improving as a fighter. While Vettori has the toughness to stand with Adesanya, and can most certainly threaten the champion if he gets complacent, his striking skillset is rudimentary in comparison to Adesanya’s. Vettori may have a slight edge in the grappling department, but not so much that it will overcome the champion en route to victory.  

Pick: Israel Adesanya 

Devison Figueiredo (-230) vs Brandon Moreno (+184)

If the first fight was any indication of what the rematch will be like, we are in for one hell of a treat. Although the last time these two competed they fought to a draw, in a knock-down drag ’em’ out war for the ages, Fanduel has the champion as a pretty sizable favorite. Although the first war they had was close on paper, the highly publicized health issues Figueiredo dealt with going into the last fight played quite a factor in the champion’s performance, if you’re to believe that.

At the end of the day   

Figueiredo is an absolute terror, there is something to be said for the way he ran through his last 4 opponents, yet had issues dealing with Moreno. There is no questioning Moreno’s toughness or heart, but as hard as the first fight was, he got off easy dealing with a compromised Figueiredo. The champion is in seemingly great health heading into this fight, and there will be a major difference in how this goes down the second time around.

Pick: Devison Figueiredo

Nate Diaz (+410) vs Leon Edwards (-590)

Nate Diaz is the biggest Fanduel underdog on this card by a very wide margin. Considering how flat he looked in his last fight against Masvidal coupled with the fact that he is coming off of a long layoff, it’s not overly surprising that this is the case. Especially when you take into consideration that Leon Edwards has steadily looked more and more impressive as time goes on. Diaz has already had a long and illustrious career, meanwhile, Edwards has been flying on the radar and scratching and clawing his way up for a long time now. It also seems that Edwards has never been more on point or more focused than he is right now. 

At the end of the Day

Although his last fight didn’t inspire confidence, it’s not enough to indicate Diaz is over the hill. If 2015-2016 Diaz was stepping in there with 2021 Leon Edwards, the fanduel odds would be even, if not Diaz as the favorite . But this isn’t 2015-2017, it’s 2021 and Edwards is unquestionably in his prime, and perhaps more focused and dedicated than he’s ever been. Diaz is the best bet to make on this card based on the odds alone, he has a far greater chance of winning than the odds suggest. But it’s Edward’s time, and he’ll get it done on Saturday night. 

Pick: Leon Edwards 

Belal Muhammad (-230) vs Demian Maia (+184)

Fanduel is favoring Muhammed to best the veteran and former Middleweight title challenger Demian Maia. Before fighting to a no-contest in his last fight against Leon Edwards, Muhammad got a four-fight win streak going and earned himself his first main event booking. Maia is coming off of a loss against former title challenger Gilbert Burns, but before that, he was riding a three-fight win streak.

At the end of the day 

Everyone is quick to claim Maia is over the hill because he is 43 years old, but the guy’s three losses before his latest win streak were against Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, and Kamaru Usman. He hasn’t looked shopworn or showed much of any signs of slowing down or diminished durability. He is fully capable of pulling out a victory over Muhammad and is without question the fanduel underdog of the night. 

Pick: Damian Maia 

Paul Craig (+240) vs Jamahal Hill (-310)

The next biggest underdog next to Nate Diaz on this card is Paul Craig. He is taking on the uber dangerous up and comer Jamahal Hill who is coming off his most impressive victory to date over Ovince Saint Preux. Although Craig is the far more experienced mixed martial artist of the two, it’s Hill who is on a serious hype train and poised to ascend the rankings.  

At the end of the day 

Craig is a very good pick for this fight when you take being a heavy underdog into account. Hill is a dangerous fight for anyone, he has phenomenal striking skills. certainly better than his counterpart. But Craig has a penchant for pulling off unexpected victories when the heat gets turned up, and that quality coupled with his experience has him primed to be the victor in this contest.

Pick: Paul Craig 

The top three fights at this event are incredible, and the fallout from all of them is very meaningful to their respective divisions and the sport as a whole. With all the possible surprise outcomes we’re soon used to seeing in this sport and that could potentially take place on Saturday, UFC 263 is looking like it’s going to be a doozy. 

Are you ready to make your fight picks? Head over to fanduel and enter the fight night contest for this weekend!

 

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