UFC 263 Preview: Nate Diaz – Leon Edwards

Tomorrow night at UFC 263 we will see the return of one of the biggest stars in the sport. Nate Diaz (20-12) is returning and it’s in the welterweight division as he takes on one of the very best in the world in Leon “Rocky” Edwards (18-3, 1 NC).

This fight will actually make history tomorrow night. It is the first fight in UFC history that is a non-title/non-main event five-round fight. Diaz wanted this to be a five-round fight so it’s a five-round fight.

This is the first time we’ve seen Diaz since his BMF title fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244. That night, Masvidal was getting the better of Diaz before a cut stopped the fight. However, Diaz was coming on strong in the middle rounds.

Diaz has always been known as a guy who starts really slow then really gets going. Likely why he wanted this fight to be five rounds. Stockton’s own looks more motivated than ever and he’s ready to get into the UFC‘s welterweight title picture.

UFC 263 is a massive opportunity for Leon Edwards. Entering 2020, Edwards had won eight fights in a row and had a fight booked against Tyron Woodley in a title eliminator. However, COVID shut everything down. Multiple fights for Edwards got cancelled for a variety of reasons and he didn’t return until March of this year.

After looking good early, Edwards accidentally poked Belal Muhammad in the eye and his anticipated return ended in a No Contest. Now, at UFC 263, he’s going to look to make a massive statement and show why he should be challenging for the title.

UFC 263 Prediction

When thinking of this matchup at UFC 263, it doesn’t make any sense but it’s so much fun. On paper, this is a horrible matchup for Nate Diaz. We’ve seen Nate struggle with guys who are bigger than him at 170 pounds.

It was very evident yesterday at the presser that Edwards is a big welterweight. Edwards is also elite in his striking and he uses his kicks extremely well. Diaz has also struggled in the past with guys who use their kicks really well.

I’m not going to say Nate Diaz doesn’t have a shot, but it’s a steep uphill climb. The only way I see Nate winning is if this touches the ground and he gets a submission or if Leon Edwards just completely gasses out. I don’t see the second option really happening.

When it comes to my UFC 263 prediction, I think we are going to see a lot of kicks from Edwards and I think he’s going to be just the second man to ever stop Diaz via strikes. Leon Edwards is set to have a breakout performance tomorrow night.

Prediction: Leon Edwards by TKO – Round 3

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