Friday, May 20, 2022

7 Takeaways from UFC 263: Adesanya vs Vettori 2

UFC 263 featured two title fights and one five-round non-title fight on the main card. With a new “King of the Flies” and Nate Diaz getting fans charged up in his five-rounder, this event brought a lot to the table. Adesanya did what he does best in his return to middleweight to defend his belt against Marvin Vettor on a card that had more decisions than finishes.

There was a lot to take away from UFC 263, here are some things that stood out.

No Title Five Rounder

Fans seemed to take issue with a five round fight on a pay-per-view along with two other title fights (also five rounds), but once fight week rolled in, no one seemed to mind. It helps that Nate Diaz was on one side of the fight with Leon Edwards but when Diaz comes to fight, it’s hard to find anything wrong with it.

Terrence McKinney

There’s a t Rex in the UFC and his name is Terrence McKinney. Fresh off his main event victory at LFA 109, McKinney made his short notice presence known with a first round knock out over Matt Frevola. His celebration might have injured him but hopefully it’s not something that will put him on the shelf. The kid’s come a long way. Don’t sleep on regional fighters. 

Take a Bow Brad Riddell & Drew Dober

This last fight before the main card delivered in every way possible.  While Riddell won the unanimous decision, that is not to say that Dober was not having his moments in the fight too. Early in the fight, Dober ate a lot of strikes from Riddell that likely played a role in the decision win, but this is one for the books. 

Stop The Fight

The fight with Paul Craig and Jamahal Hill had a brutal submission that got Craig the win, but the arm bar finish he got was almost instant. Questionable officiating on the referee’s part here. At one point Craig had to tell the referee it was broken, and still he let the fight go on. Referee Al Guinee likely needs a refresher or a few jiu-jitsu classes.

During the co-main event of the pay-per-view, Joe Rogan got news that Hill’s arm was not broken but severely dislocated. It was popped back into place and he was said to be okay. 

It Ain’t Over Til’ It’s Over

The fight between Diaz and Edwards went as expected. Edwards attacked the lead leg of Diaz, he cut Diaz with an elbow, his output was first before Diaz. There were some moments on the ground where submissions were close for both men. When round five began, it seemed like it was just going to be more of the same but Diaz landed a shot where that wobbled Edwards and almost won the fight.  Almost is not good enough, but it sure was fun. Diaz seemed to be hesitant in the post-fight presser as to what he does next but if it’s fighting, fans will want to see it.

El Nuevo Rey De Moscas (The New King of The Flies)

Brandon Moreno won every round leading up to the third round where he scored his submission victory in round three. Moreno came to the UFC in The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions and had a fight booked in the UFC before the season even finished. That may have been a foreshadowing of where he would be at UFC 263. The first fight against Deiveson Figueiredo was one of the draws that were hard to argue against, in the rematch, he left no doubt. Congratulations champ.

And Still

Israel Adesanya did what he does best, in the weight class he is best at. His attempt at light-heavyweight did not go well and he needed to get back winning in the fashion that only Adesanya does. That he did, and while we may never get that Jon Jones fight with Adesanya, it looks like we’ll be getting another one with Robert Whittaker if possible. 

There’s obviously more to take away from this event than what is listed here. Choosing what is next for Adesanya and Moreno will likely depend on the coming week’s rankings, where the world is with COVID-19, and what makes the most sense on the business end of the UFC. As we move into a new quarter of 2021, anything can happen.

What did you take away from the event?

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