Preview and prediction for Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz at UFC 263
Along with its hyped middleweight and flyweight championship predominant occasion and co-main occasion, historical past may also be made within the third featured bout on the UFC 263 pay-per-view. Not solely does it function the return of Nate Diaz, who will probably be taking over Leon Edwards, however it is going to be the primary time a UFC struggle that’s neither a title struggle nor a predominant occasion will probably be scheduled for 5 five-minute rounds.
Following a December 2015 loss to present welterweight champ Kamaru Usman, Edwards went on an eight-fight win streak, which included victories over Vicente Luque, Bryan Barberena, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Gunnar Nelson and Rafael dos Anjos between 2016 and 2019.
Edwards didn’t struggle in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and makes an attempt to e-book him vs. Khamzat Chimaev falling via. He returned in March, together with his struggle in opposition to Belal Muhammad ending in a no-contest on account of an eye fixed poke.
After his pair of 2016 bouts with Conor McGregor, Diaz took a three-year hiatus earlier than returning at UFC 241 in August 2019, scoring a one-sided determination over Anthony Pettis. He then fought Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244, getting stopped in three rounds due to a health care provider’s stoppage.
Who will win at UFC 263: Leon Edwards or Nate Diaz?
Based on the Story of the Tape, Edwards could have a two-inch peak edge, whereas Diaz will are available in with a two-inch attain benefit. Per FightMetrics, Diaz has the next putting output, although Edwards holds a really barely higher putting accuracy. Diaz is the marginally higher putting defender by the numbers, although he’s additionally taken fairly a bit of injury in his profession.
Each have comparable takedown offense numbers, however Edwards holds a a lot better, 70 p.c takedown protection share.
Clearly, Diaz is an OG of this sport. He can herald pay-per-view buys, he’s nonetheless aggressive, he can nonetheless win fights at his age. He’s been in his justifiable share of five-round wars as nicely. However going in opposition to a well-rounded, 29-year-old, Leon Edwards who’s in his prime and inching nearer in direction of a welterweight title shot? This won’t go so nicely for him.
Diaz has barely been energetic, if in any respect, for a number of years now, whereas Edwards has continued to stand up the degrees at 170. Diaz could not be capable to cease any takedown makes an attempt Edwards may deliver at him, and Edwards is just too resourceful in any grappling exchanges.
Diaz may be capable to slug it out with Edwards on the ft, however Edwards feels just like the extra all-around, higher fighter for this point in time in MMA, and he’s bought an excessive amount of momentum on his facet proper now to decelerate — particularly when he most likely will get a title shot with this win.
Prediction: Edwards through unanimous determination
UFC 263 takes place on Saturday, June 12, 2021, reside from the Gila River Area in Glendale, AZ. Observe together with FanSided who’s on-site all week for all of your reside information and highlights.