After coming up short in his quest to become a two-division champion, Israel Adesanya will return to the middleweight division to defend his title in a rematch three years in the making against Marvin Vettori at UFC 263.
Adesanya’s undefeated MMA run came to a halt when he failed to dethrone Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title in March. He remains the undisputed UFC middleweight champion, however, and has yet to taste defeat at 185 pounds. He’ll square off with Vettori, who pushed Adesanya to the limit when they first met but lost a split decision. Since the loss, Vettori has won five straight to put himself back in position to not only get revenge but also become a champion.
But Adesanya has shown significant improvement in his takedown defense since their first meeting and collected victories over the likes of Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker. Only Vettori has come close to defeating Adesanya in the division, so that is something “The Last Stylebender” aims to put to bed in the rematch.
There has been significant bad blood between the two fighters heading into the rematch as both believe they did more than enough to win their first meeting. Now they will get a chance to back up the tough talk in the Octagon with the stakes higher.
Also on the card is a flyweight title rematch between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno. The two battled in a high-octane match that ended in a majority draw. Will Figueiredo prove he is still the best flyweight in the UFC, or will Moreno pull off the upset?
The PPV will also mark the return of Nate Diaz, who will face Leon Edwards in a five-round welterweight fight where the winner will move closer to a championship opportunity while the loser will fall to the back of the line.
Sporting News is tracking live fight updates and round-by-round highlights from Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2 and the entire card at UFC 263. Follow below for complete results.
UFC 263 live updates, highlights from Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2
11:50 p.m.: Co-main event time. Deiveson Figueiredo defends his flyweight title in a rematch with Brandon Moreno. They last met in December and that fight ended in a majority draw. What happens tonight?
Leon Edwards survives late scare from Nate Diaz to win unanimous decision.
Result (11:46 p.m.): Whew. That was a close call for Edwards. The judges all scored it 49-46 for Edwards but Diaz certainly earned himself another big fight by nearly pulling off a massive upset in the final round. But, alas, it was Edwards’ night and we’ll see if that’s enough to get him the title fight he’s been looking for.
Round 5 (11:41 p.m.): Diaz runs right into a combination to open the 5th. Diaz pressing forwards but can’t land anything of significance. Another left hand by Edwards lands. I want to say Diaz is getting beat up but he’s just chilling. Diaz lands a left hand and follows with a right that briefly stuns Edwards. Body kick from Edwards. Edwards with a three punch combination and Diaz just moves forward. Diaz with a right hand that hurts Edwards bad!!!! Diaz pouring it on! Edwards is shook and Diaz is coming after him. Diaz unloading! Edwards in big trouble! Diaz slamming punches into Edwards! Edwards survives but oh my goodness. 10-9 Diaz (49-46 Edwards)
Round 4 (11:35 p.m.): Edwards rams a knee into Diaz’s ribs. Diaz lands a right hand. Follows with a left but Edwards isn’t bothered and lands a leg kick. Edwards SMASHES Diaz with a left hand. Diaz wobbles and regains composure. Gives him a thumbs up. Another left hand by Edwards. Edwards with a trip and Diaz gives him props as he gets to his feet. Another left hand by Edwards. It’s becoming one-way traffic. Diaz lands a hard combination and clinches with him. Edwards turns him and misses a big elbow. Short left elbow by Edwards lands. More blood. Edwards slaps Diaz up with a left hook. Another round down, another round for Edwards. 10-9 Edwards (40-36 Edwards)
Round 3 (11:29 p.m.): Edwards cracks Diaz with a left hand. Edwards chewing at Diaz’s leg with kicks. Edwards takes Diaz down again off the clinch. Edwards shreds Diaz with an elbow. Diaz is leaking blood. Diaz has two nasty cuts. They stop the action because Diaz cup is hanging out. Action resumes and Diaz slaps away Edwards’ handshake. Edwards with another takedown. Blood is everywhere. Diaz gets to his feet and eats a spinning elbow from Edwards. Total domination from Edwards as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Edwards (30-27 Edwards)
Round 2 (11:23 p.m.): Both are trying to find their range. Edwards lands a left hand. They exchange right hands. Edwards lands a 1-2 combination. Edwards continues to land leg kicks. They clinch again. Edwards with a takedown and in half guard. Diaz threatens a heel hook but Edwards escapes. Hard leg kick clearly hurts Diaz. Diaz turns around and bends over in front of Edwards and turns back into him with a punch. Lots of mind games from Diaz. Diaz clinches with Edwards but eats a spinning elbow to end the round. 10-9 Edwards. (20-18 Edwards)
Round 1 (11:17 p.m.): Loud chants for Diaz to start the fight. Diaz turns his back on Edwards, Edwards relaxes and Diaz rushes him. Nothing big lands. Leg kick by Edwards. Edwards chopping at the leg. Right hand lands by Edwards. Left hand lands by Edwards and another leg kick. Body shot from Diaz. Diaz lands a left hand. Throws his hands up to say “what’s up?” They clinch and Diaz rams a knee into Edwards’ ribs. Edwards takes Diaz down and has his back. Edwards threatens a rear-naked choke. They get to their feet and Edwards lands one last calf kick to close the round. 10-9 Edwards.
11:03 p.m.: It’s time for the return of Nate Diaz! It’s been over 18 months since we last saw the fan-favorite and he’ll return to the Octagon to face Leon Edwards in a five-round showdown with heavy championship implications.
Belal Muhammad stuffs multiple takedowns to upend Demian Maia
10:58 p.m.: Well, that wasn’t a whole lot of fun. Demian Maia attempted takedown after takedown. 20 of them, to be exact. And Muhammad stuffed takedown after takedown. That’s really all that happened in three rounds. Nothing to write about. Muhammad wins with a strong performance. Remember the name but you can forget about the fight.
10:32 p.m.: Now that we’ve gathered ourselves after being sickened to our stomachs, we have a welterweight battle between MMA O.G. Demian Maia and Belal Muhammad. Muhammad returns to action after going to a No Contest with Leon Edwards after an accidental eye poke while the 43-year-old Maia returns for his first fight in over a year when he was stopped by Gilbert Burns.
Paul Craig grotesquely breaks Jamahal Hill’s arm for a first-round finish
10:24 p.m.: Oh my goodness. Paul Craig gets the first-round finish by grotesquely breaking Hill’s arm in an armbar. But Hill didn’t tap and Craig torqued on it more. Although it was clear that the arm was snapped, the referee allowed the fight to continue as Craig slammed fists into his opponent as Hill’s arm flopped around. Finally, the fight was stopped but Hill’s arm needs medical attention in a hurry.
10:13 p.m.: Paul Craig and Jamahal Hill are set to kick off the main card. Their staredown at the weigh-ins on Friday was intense. It’s a battle of Hill’s ferocious striking and Craig’s exceptional grappling. Who will come out on top?
9:58 p.m.: Good luck to the rest of the card. Dober and Riddell was an absolute banger. Dober started off strong and rocked Riddell badly in the first round with a left hand. But Riddell gathered himself and outstruck his opponent in the second round. The third round saw Riddell begin to pull away and he punctuated the comeback by nearly finishing Dober in the final seconds. Riddell earned the victory and they will likely take home a nice bonus check.
9:36 p.m.: We’re at our final prelim before the main card as Drew Dober is set to battle Brad Riddell in a lightweight clash. What have you missed? Not a whole lot. Lauren Murphy upended Joanne Calderwood by a narrow split decision that likely put her in position to challenge champion Valentina Shevchenko next.
Oh, and then there was this…
The debuting Terrance McKinney needed only seven seconds and two punches to stop Matt Frevola. That was impressive.
UFC 263 start time
- Date: Saturday, June 12
- Time: 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
- Main card (PPV): 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
- Main event: 12:15 a.m. ET/9:15 p.m. PT
UFC 263: Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori takes place Saturday with the early prelims kicking the event off at 6 p.m. ET and the pay-per-view main card beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Adesanya and Vettori should enter the Octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
How to watch UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2
- TV channels/live stream: ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+
The main card for UFC 263 is available in the U.S. on the ESPN+ subscription streaming service for a pay-per-view cost. That portion of the event begins at 10 p.m.
Earlier fights, however, are viewable live on ESPN, the WatchESPN app and, for the early prelims, on UFC Fight Pass.
In Canada, the main card pay-per-view is available on Bell, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel, Videotron, Telus, Eastlink, and UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass.
UFC 263 fight card
- Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Marvin Vettori for Adesanya’s middleweight title
- Deiveson Figueiredo (c) vs. Brandon Moreno for Figueiredo’s flyweight title
- Leon Edwards def. Nate Diaz via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46 & 49-46)
- Belal Muhammad def. Demian Maia via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Paul Craig def. Jamahal Hill via 1st round TKO (1:59)
- Brad Riddell def. Drew Dober via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28)
- Eryk Anders def. Darren Stewart via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27 & 29-27)
- Lauren Murphy def. Joanne Calderwood via split decision (29-28, 29-28 & 28-29)
- Movsar Evloev def. Hakeem Dawodu via unanimous decision (29-27 29-27 & 29-27)
Fight Pass prelims
- Pannie Kianzad def. Alexis Davis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28)
- Terrance McKinney def. Matt Frevola via 1st round KO (:07)
- Steven Peterson def. Chase Hooper via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 & 29-28)
- Fares Ziam def. Luigi Vendramini via majorty decision (29-28, 29-28 & 28-28)
- Carlos Felipe def. Jake Collier via split decision (29-28, 29-28 & 28-29)