We all are going to have an amazing weekend because we have UFC 263 with two title rematches! This entire card is stacked with many tough matchups, but I’m going to give you three picks: one from the preliminary card and a pick for each title bout. Read below to see what action I’m taking for this upcoming fight night.
Drew Dober vs. Brad Riddell
UFC Lightweight Bout – Preliminary Card
Saturday, June 12, 2021 – 10:35 PM EDT at the Gila River Arena in Arizona
Drew Dober is an American mixed martial artist currently ranked #13 in the UFC Lightweight division. Beginning at the age of 14 years old, Dober started training in Muay Thai. He then continued to become a two-time Amateur National Champion; moving forward, he earned an amateur record of 9-0 before going professional in 2009.
In 2013, Dober stepped in as a replacement in the Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale against Sean Spencer - he lost via unanimous decision. His last UFC bout was at UFC 259 against Islam Makhachev - he lost via submission in the third round. Of all his MMA accomplishments, he has achieved: a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a black belt in Taekwondo, UFC Fight of the Night (1) vs. Frank Camacho, and UFC Performance of the Night (2) vs. Nasrat Haqparast and Alexander Hernandez.
Brad “Quake” Riddell is a New Zealand mixed martial artist with a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Riddel made his UFC debut at UFC 243 in 2019 against Jamie Mullarkey - he won via unanimous decision and also achieved the Fight of the Night bonus. Riddell is currently 3-0 in the UFC promotion, and 9-1-0 overall professionally. Of his accomplishments, he has achieved: Wollongong Wars Welterweight Championship, and UFC Fight of the Night.
I chose to break down this fight because I expect this to be a very up-tempo fight. Both of these fighters have that knockout power, so I’m excited to see who will be more dominant in this matchup and who will be able to fight their way up the lightweight division. The current UFC Odds for this matchup are: Drew Dober -145 and Brad Riddell +125 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review).
You could say Drew Dober is the veteran in this matchup since he has been fighting under the promotion since 2013. His most recent bout was against Islam Makhachev back at UFC 259 - he lost via submission (arm-triangle choke). He had a rough start in the promotion going 1-3-0, 1NC in his first five bouts. But he seemed to have grown in the promotion; his three most recent wins were by T/KO so we can not underestimate his abilities to finish a fight.
Brad Riddell is still a rising prospect and is 3-0 in the UFC, 9-1-0 overall. His fight history is quite interesting to look at; in his first five professional wins, he won them all by T/KO - all within the first and second round. The rest of his bouts, being his most recent four bouts, he won them all by decision.
Dober is in fact coming off of a loss and only allowed himself 3 months to recover and prepare for this bout. Riddell is healthy and has had time to prepare for this fight. Dober’s path to victory will depend on his ability to finish Riddell, otherwise, I see Riddell winning at the scorecards.
Riddell has great accuracy and speed; within the UFC, he averaged 4.36 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 2.62. Dober, on the other hand, is fairly accurate as well, his defense is just not as strong; he averaged 4.33 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 3.87.
For me, Riddell is the fresher fighter with a winning mindset. His accuracy, patience, and cardio will give him an even greater advantage combined with his reach. Take the value with the dog in this matchup.
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno
UFC Flyweight Title Bout - Co-Main Event
Saturday, June 12, 2021 - 11:35 PM EDT at the Gila River Arena in Arizona
Deiveson “Daico/ Deus da Guerra” Figueiredo is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who is currently ranked #10 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings, and is the current UFC Flyweight Champion. His interests for combat sports began at a young age; he began wrestling at the age of 9 years old, and began training MMA at the age of 16.
Figueiredo made his professional debut in 2012 against Aluisio Ferreira - he won via submission in the first round. He made his UFC debut in 2017 at UFC 212 against Marco Beltran - he won via TKO in the second round. Figueiredo competed against Joseph Benavidez in February 2020 for the vacant UFC Flyweight Title; he won via TKO in the second round. Deus da Guerra has achieved many MMA accomplishments throughout his career: 57kg BJJ Northeast Brazil Champion, UFC fastest submission in Flyweight division history (1:57) vs. Alex Perez, UFC Fight of the Night (2) vs. Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Moreno, tied with Demetrious Johnson for most finishes in the UFC Flyweight division (7), and many more!
Brandon “the Assassin Baby” Moreno is a Mexican mixed martial artist currently ranked #1 in the UFC Flyweight division, and has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Moreno began training in mixed martial arts at the age of 12 years old.
In 2011, he began his professional career where he gained a record of 6-3 before joining the World Fighting Federation promotion - Moreno went undefeated in the promotion 5-0. He eventually won the Flyweight Championship for the promotion which opened doors for him to the Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champion - Moreno competed against Alexandre Pantoja and lost via submission in the sound round.
The Assassin Baby made his UFC debut in 2016 against Louis Smolka and won via submission in the first round - this fight earned him Performance of the Night. Brandon Moreno has earned many accomplishments within his MMA career: Legacy Fighting Alliance Flyweight Champion, World Fighting Federation Flyweight Champion, UFC fight of the Night (1) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo, and Performance of the Night (2) vs. Dustin Ortiz and Louis Smolka.
This will be the first title rematch of the night as the co-main event, and it will be one you’ll never forget. The current UFC Odds for this matchup are: Deiveison Figueiredo -220 and Brandon Moreno +185 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review).
Now, in their first meeting, this fight resulted in a draw. It makes sense to me why Figueiredo is the favorite for this upcoming Saturday night. He is quick on his feet and holds a lot of power in his heavy hands. On top of his powerful striking, he has strong submission skills as well. Keep in mind, in their first matchup, Figueiredo was hospitalized the night before because he was sick, AND he had a point deduction during the fight due to a goin shot - yet the fight still finished in a draw.
I do not want to take away from the skills Moreno has since he is a very solid fighter and is a great matchup for Figueiredo. Moreno is primarily a grappler, and this showed in his last fight with the current champ - he brought him down to the canvas 4 times. On top of that, he has been working on his striking skills so we have seen some improvement. Moreno also proved his chin against Figueiredo since he was able to survive the whole 5 rounds.
Overall, a healthy and determined Figueiredo is quite intimidating and hard to fade. For me, if Figueiredo can get a draw after a point deduction while fighting at not top health, then how will he perform at 100% health and with better accuracy? He should be well prepared for this matchup. Since he has such juiced odds at -220, you can either use him as a parlay piece, or seek more value in the MMA Props.
Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori
UFC Middleweight Title Bout - Main Event
Saturday, June 12, 2021 - 11:35 PM EDT at the Gila River Arena in Arizona
Israel “the Last Stylebender” Adesanya is a Nigerian-born New Zealand mixed martial artist who is currently ranked #4 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound division, and is the current UFC Middleweight Champion. Adesanya began training in kickboxing at the age of 18. When he decided to pursue kickboxing as a career, he compiled an outstanding amateur record of 32-0 before turning professional.
Adesanya won his first professional fight via unanimous decision in 2010 against Tim Atonio. Fast forward to 2017 and Adesanya signed his contract with the UFC. He made his debut against Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221 and won via TKO in the second round, earning him the Performance of the Night bonus.
In 2019, Adesanya competed against Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 236 and won via unanimous decision. He then went to fight against Robert Whittake in a title unification bout at UFC 243 and he won via TKO in the second round. He has defended his title twice. The Last Stylebender has achieved a ton of accomplishments throughout his professional career: Hex Fighting Series Middleweight Champion, Australian Fighting Championship Middleweight Champion, UFC Middleweight Champion, most knockdowns in a UFC Title Fight (4), Performance of the Night (5), and many more!
Marvin “the Italian Dream” Vettori is an ITalian mixed martial artist currently ranked #3 in the UFC Middleweight division, and is also a former Venator FC Welterweight champion. Vettori competed in many promotions before signing with the UFC: UCMMA, Impera FC, and Venator FC. While fighting under Venator FC, he compiled an undefeated record of 5-0. His UFC debut was in 2016 at UFC 202 - he competed against Alberto Emiliano Pereira and won via submission (guillotine choke) in the first round. Of all his MMA accomplishments, the Italian Dream has achieved: VFC Welterweight Champion, UFC Performance of the Night vs. Karl Roberson, and UFC Fight of the Night vs. Jack Hermansson.
As the main event, Israel Adesanya will have a chance to defend his UFC Middleweight title against Marvin Vettori. The current UFC Odds for this matchup are: Israel Adesanya -264 and Marvin Vettori +224 via BetOnline (Visit our BetOnline Review).
In their first meeting, Adesanya won via split decision, and this is going to be a wonderful rematch. They were fairly close in significant strikes in their first bout; Adesanya had a total of 57 and Vettori had 46. However, Vettori successfully landed 2 out of 6 takedowns which influenced the split decision. Adesanya does have the height and reach advantage and has proven to utilize both very well, especially with his kicks.
Vettori’s path to victory would be to apply more pressure in his grappling and to dominate on the ground, similar to how Jan Blachowicz defeated Adesanya. If his striking has improved, then this could be his fight. But I really don't see this happening.
However, in their last bout, although Vettori had the 2 successful takedowns, it still was not enough to get the win over Adesanya. Yes, Izzy is coming off of a loss against Jan Blachowicz, but he went up in weight. We are still in the middleweight division this weekend. Yes, Vettori may be able to land a couple takedowns against, but I definitely don’t think he will be able to outstrike the Last Stylebender. Expect Adesanya to come out prepared for Vettori’s game plan and win at the cards again. Since Adesanya has such juiced odds at -264, again, I’m going to seek value in the MMA Props.