Next weekend at UFC 263 we are going to get to see a very highly anticipated contest in the welterweight division. Top contender Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) is set to face off against one of the biggest stars in the sport, Nate Diaz (20-12).
Originally, Diaz and Edwards were set to face off at UFC 262 in Houston. However, Diaz suffered a minor injury which pushed the fight back a month. The fight between the two men is the first of it’s kind for the promotion.
The matchup between Diaz and Edwards is considered a third headlining fight. It’s the third fight on the main card, but it’s scheduled for five rounds. It’s the first fight in UFC history that’s a non-title, non-main event that’s scheduled for five rounds.
Diaz is fighting his fifth straight fight in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Granted, three of the previous four matchups were against guys who naturally fight at lightweight. Diaz has spent the majority of his career at 155 pounds.
Diaz hasn’t fought since his BMF title fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244. That night was cut short due to a cut and we haven’t seen Diaz since. Now, he’s jumping in there against one of the very best in the world in Leon Edwards.
Edwards has had a string of awful luck in the UFC from fight cancellations to an eye poke that spoiled his return. Now, he’s facing off against one of the most popular fighters in the sport and he’s ready to make a statement.
Edwards wants his UFC title shot
Leon Edwards respects Nate Diaz, but he doesn’t believe that he has anything for him. In speaking with MMA Junkie, Edwards made it clear that he doesn’t believe Nate Diaz will give him any trouble at UFC 263.
â€œI envision going out there and just battering him from pillar to post and getting the stoppage,â€ Edwards said. â€œI know heâ€™s a tough, durable guy and I just donâ€™t think being tough and durable is enough to beat me. Iâ€™ve worked hard, and Iâ€™ve dedicated myself for a long time, and itâ€™s now time for my results to show. I canâ€™t wait to go out there and prove that.â€
If Edwards is able to get a stoppage at UFC 263, it will be massive. However, doing that is not going to be easy. Diaz has only been stopped by strikes once in his career. If Edwards becomes the second man to do it, he just might earn himself a UFC title shot.