UFC 263 gave us a vintage performance by middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and a new flyweight champion in Brandon Moreno, becoming the first-ever Mexican-born champion. See those highlights, and a roundup of everything that happened at UFC 263 below.
UFC 263 Highlights:
Israel Adesanya def. Marvin Vettori via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Israel Adesanya completely outclassed Marvin Vettori in every single one of their rematch, and remains your middleweight champion. Vettori had absolutely nothing for Adesanya on the feet, and he was also unable to get him to the mat often enough to make a difference. This was frankly a total outclassing, and Adesanya never looked in any kind of danger.
Brandon Moreno def. Deiveson Figueiredo via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) (Rd. 3 2:26)
Brandon Moreno is your new UFC Flyweight champion. Moreno dominated Deiveson Figueiredo over the first two rounds hurting on multiple occasions and controlling with pressure and a variety of strikes. In the third, Moreno found the back mount, and after some hand-fighting secured the rear-naked choke. Moreno becomes the first Mexican-born UFC champion, and cut an excellent babyface promo on the mic afterwards.
Leon Edwards def. Nate Diaz via Unaniamous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Leon Edwards absolutely dominated Nate Diaz over the first 24 minutes of their 25-minute fight, cutting Diaz' face to pieces and chipping his leg apart. However with a minute left, Diaz cracked Edwards and followed up with some impressive offense. It wasn't enough to get the finish, but it was very exciting. The Diaz aura remains intact.
Belal Muhammed def. Demian Maia via Unaniamous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Demian Maia failed to get Belal Muhammed to the ground, and since that didn't happen, Muhammed out struck him over the course of the three-round fight. Not a very surprising outcome against the 43 year old Maia, but one that moves Muhammed forward after the no-contest against Leon Edwards in his last bout.
Paul Craig def. Jamahal Hill via Technical Submission (Armbar) (Rd. 1 1:59)
Paul Craig continued to showcase his jiujitsu by breaking Jamahal Hill's arm with a straight arm-bar. Hill did refuse to submit, and Craig followed up with some brutal ground and point from a triangle position. A very good performance by Craig, but an absolutely dreadful refereeing performance.
Brad Riddell def. Drew Dober via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
In an easy fight of the year contender, Brad Riddell announced his arrival into the lightweight rankings by surviving an absolute war vs. Drew Dober. The fight brilliantly ebbed and flowed, with each man hurting his opponent and scoring knockdowns. This fight is the type of fight that makes you an MMA fan.
Eryk Anders def. Darren Stewart via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Eryk Anders controlled the first two rounds with boring cage clinching, and then in the third managed to get Darren Stewart down and dominate him with some ground and pound. This fight was very bad.
Lauren Murphy def. Joanne Calderwood via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28 28-29)
In a very entertaining back and forth fight Lauren Murphy emerged victorious over Joanne Calderwood. Murphy completely dominated the second round on the ground, and debatably could've earned a 10-8 round, while the other two rounds of the fight were completely up for grabs. Any scorecard could've been justified in this bout. A very entertaining bout, and Murphy now sets herself up as the number one contender to Valentina Shevchenko's flyweight title.
Movsar Evloev def Hakeem Dawodo via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Movsar Evloev utilized a smothering relentless grappling approach to just drown Hakeem Dawodu. Evloev spent most of the first two rounds in back-mount, and dealing ample damage, and threatening chokes. While Dawodu did rally in the third, and even wobbled Evloev late, but it was too little too late.
Pannie Kianzad def Alexis Davis via Unaniamous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
In a fight combated entirely on the feet, Pannie Kianzad consistently landed the harder strikes, especially a heavy diet of stiff left hooks. While Davis was competitive, and her leg kick game was doing damage, but it wasn't enough to overcome Kianzad.
Terrance McKinney def. Matt Frevola via Technical Knockout (Punches) (Rd. 1 0:07)
Terrance McKinney wasted zero time making his UFC debut. It only took seven seconds for a picture-perfect 1-2 to set Matt Frevola down, and follow up hammer fists ended the fight. Unfortunately in his celebration, McKinney seemed to blow out his knee. This result just narrowly missed breaking the record for fasted KO currently held by Jorge Masvidal at five seconds.
A fiery short-notice match we have our eyes on ----— UFC (@ufc) June 12, 2021
-- @MattFre16 takes on newcomer Terrance McKinney NOW!
[ #UFC263 Early Prelims LIVE on @ESPN, @ESPNPlus & @UFCFightPass ] pic.twitter.com/cSVBqJwwYU
Steven Peterson def. Chase Hooper via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Chase Hooper just isn't ready. Not only did Steven Peterson dominate him in the portions of the fight they were standing, but even in the grappling areas, Hooper couldn't make his funky leg lock game work, and he suffered a lot of damage. He seems like a likeable kid, but it seems he's over his head at this level.
Fares Ziam def. Luigi Vendramini via Majority Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
After the first two rounds were dominated by the jab of Fares Ziam, the third round was a massive difference. Luigi Vendramini came out like he was shot out of a cannon, rocked Ziam with aggressive strikes, and then dominated about three minutes through smothering grappling. It wasn't enough to get him a 10-8 round on more than just one of the judges.
Carlos Felipe def. Jake Collier via Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
In an excellent fight to start off the night, Carlos Felipe edged Jake Collier in an all-action heavyweight bout. Felipe constantly moved forward, and controlled the center of the cage, while Collier threw a higher volume of strikes. The fight could've gone either way and featured a bunch of very entertaining action.
UFC 263 Bonuses:
Fight of the night was obvious, as the war between Drew Dober and Brad Riddell was an immediate fight of the year contender, especially when considering it was a three-round fight.
The performance of the night bonuses went to a pair of submissions, Brandon Moreno's championship-winning choke, and Paul Craig's arm breaking straight arm-bar, each earning 75k apiece.
Shockingly, Terrance McKinney's seven-second knockout was snubbed of a bonus. When you come within two seconds of setting the UFC record for fastest knockout, it seems like you should win abonus.
#UFC263— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) June 13, 2021
$4,281,800.00 (Gila River Arena Gate Record)
Fight of the Night:
Drew Dober vs. Brad Riddell
Performances of the Night:
(via UFC press release)
Pro's React To Adesanya vs. Vettori:
Lmao gosh these interactions between Israel and Marvin are killing me -- #UFC263— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) June 13, 2021
No interview with Marvin? He is probably arguing with the judges right now! -- #ufc263— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) June 13, 2021
Vettori about to go back stage and rage . Get security ready ------ #UFC263— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) June 13, 2021
Izzy grabbed his ass the way I grab my husbands --— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) June 13, 2021
Lmfaooo!! ---- Gimmie dat --! -- #UFC263— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) June 13, 2021
Pro's React To Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo:
Put some respect on BABY ASSASSIN.— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) June 13, 2021
What a ride!! This kid deserve it everything --.
I’m not crying, you’re crying. #ufc263— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) June 13, 2021
Viva Mexico— C H----T O----V E R A (@chitoveraUFC) June 13, 2021
Pro's React To Edwards v. Diaz:
And once again Nate Diaz shows up and even after losing a fight his stock rises. That flurry is all that’ll be talked about! It’s about memories /land Diaz leaves people with memories. #ufc263— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) June 13, 2021
------ #UFC263— Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) June 13, 2021
What a WAR ------— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) June 13, 2021
THIS IS CRAZY!! #UFC263— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) June 13, 2021
Mannn Nate Diaz is fun to watch bet he’s fun to fight too -- #UFC263— Niko Price (@Nikohybridprice) June 13, 2021
Post-Fight Press Conference: