UFC 263: Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz: Prediction and Analysis

Published 06/09/2021, 6:30 AM EDT


UFC 263 will see Nate Diaz return to action to fight cream of the crop welterweight contender Leon Edwards. A win for either man can put them in pole position for a title shot next, especially Edwards. Also, it will be an interesting spectacle to see how Diaz performs after yet another lengthy lay-off.

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Edwards, too, has not been very active recently. He stepped inside the Octagon for the first time since 2019 against Belal Muhammad in March. But that fight ended in a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke. So it’s hard to give either man the activity advantage over the other.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 13: (L-R) Bulal Muhammad kicks Leon Edwards of Jamaica in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Diaz last fought at UFC 244 against Jorge Masvidal. He broke a 3-year-long lay-off to fight Anthony Pettis prior to that. However, the Stockton native has mentioned he feels he is getting younger and sharper because of certain changes in his diet and training regime.

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The 36-year-old has competed only 5 times over the last six years. This may be detrimental against Edwards who has won 8 of his last 9 fights (one NC).

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Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz: Analysis

It’s hard not to give Edwards the edge in this fight. Despite his recent inactivity, he looked as sharp as ever in his short fight against ‘Remember The Name’.

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Masvidal pummeled Diaz at UFC 244 before doctors called a stop to the contest because of a cut over his eyes. As Diaz’s scar tissues always seem to open up, it’s hard to imagine Edwards not slicing up his soft spots with his brutal elbows.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 02: Nate Diaz of the United States fights against Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) of the United States in the Welterweight “BMF” championship bout during UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden on November 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

If Edwards takes Diaz down and controls him there, the judges will favor ‘Rocky‘ despite Diaz’s activity off his back. On the feet, it’s quite evenly matched. Diaz is not someone who will get overwhelmed by any means while striking. However, Edwards’s kicks might play a crucial factor.

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Edwards might just be able to get a decision win in his favor with a dominant display. But, with Diaz, an upset can very well be on the cards.

Final Prediction: Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards by unanimous decision.

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Apratim Banerjee

1186 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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