Ahead of UFC 263 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, defending champions, Israel Adesanya and Deiveson Figueiredo have both opened as decent betting favourites over Marvin Vettori and Brandon Moreno, respectively. And as for the #3 ranked welterweight, Leon Edwards, he is currently sitting as quite the sizeable betting favourite over the returning, Nate Diaz.
Headlining the pay-per-view event, City Kickboxing standout, Adesanya returns to the middleweight limit for the first time since September of last year, as he looks to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to current light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz back in March. With the loss, Adesanya suffered his first professional defeat in mixed martial arts, and failed at his attempt to become a two-weight champion held simultaneously.
For Trento standout, Vettori, he’s won his last five consecutively, most recent of which came in April at UFC on ABC 2 where he scored a comfortable unanimous decision win over short-notice replacement, Kevin Holland. Meeting with Adesanya back at UFC Fight Night Glendale in April of 2018, Vettori turned in a hugely competitive performance on route to a close split decision loss. Per online bookies, Sportsbetting.ag — they fancy Adesanya to score a second career win over the #3 ranked, Vettori, placing the defending champion at odds of -265 at the time of publication, whilst Vettori is currently sitting as a +225 betting underdog.
In the night’s co-headliner, flyweight spoils are on the line again in another re-run, as Brazilian finisher, Figueiredo battles with past-opponent, Mexico favourite, Moreno.
The pair initially met at UFC 256 last December in a headlining tilt, and turned in one of the best fights the division has ever seen over the course of five rounds, as well as a real contender for Fight of the Year accolades. In an eventual majority draw, Figueiredo successfully retained his championship as a result, after he was deducted a point in the third round after he had landed an inadvertent groin strike.
As with Adesanya, Figueiredo is also expected to successfully hold onto the flyweight championship on Saturday night against Moreno, with bookies sitting the Para native as a -225 favourite, while Moreno is currently sat as a +190 underdog.
In the night’s other real high-profile pairing on the main card, a five round clash, between the #3 ranked welterweight contender, Edwards and the returning Stockton favourite, The Ultimate Fighter 5 victor, Diaz.
Undefeated in his last nine Octagon walks, Birmingham native, Edwards looked at his gleaming best against short-notice replacement, Belal Muhammad in his March return, comfortably taking the first round with his striking prowess, prior to an unfortunate eye poke in the early goings of the second left Muhammad unable to continue, resulting in an official ‘No Contest’.
For 36-year-old promotional staple, Diaz, he makes his first Octagon appearance since UFC 244 back in November of 2019 where he headlined opposite Jorge Masvidal at Madison Square Garden, with the symbolic BMF championship up for grabs. Suffering a fourth round doctor’s stoppage after a sizeable laceration opened both above and below Diaz’s right eye, the Californian has yet to feature since.
Sitting as the biggest betting favourite across the entire card, Edwards is placed currently at -600, while Diaz comes in at +400 in a large underdog setting.