UFC 263 weigh-in results and live video stream (noon ET)
PHOENIX – MMA Junkie is on scene and reporting live from Friday’s official UFC 263 fighter weigh-ins, which kick off at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).
The early weigh-ins take place at the UFC host hotel in Phoenix and precede the ceremonial weigh-ins for the fans, which take place at 7 p.m. ET at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. The same arena hosts Saturday’s event, which has a main card on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.
Among those weighing in are middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (20-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and challenger Marvin Vettori (17-3-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC), who meet in a rematch for Adesanya’s title. Plus, flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC) takes on Brandon Moreno (18-5-2 MMA, 6-2-2 UFC) in a rematch after a draw this past December, and Nate Diaz (20-12 MMA, 15-10 UFC) meets Leon Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC) in a five-round featured bout.
The full UFC 263 weigh-in results include:
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Champ Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori – for middleweight title
Champ Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno – for flyweight title
Nate Diaz vs. Leon Edwards
Demian Maia vs. Belal Muhammad
Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
Drew Dober () vs. Brad Riddell ()
Eryk Anders () vs. Darren Stewart ()
Joanne Calderwood () vs. Lauren Murphy ()
Hakeem Dawodu () vs. Movsar Evloev ()
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 6 p.m. ET)
Alexis Davis () vs. Pannie Kianzad ()
Frank Camacho () vs. Matt Frevola ()
Chase Hooper () vs. Steven Peterson ()
Luigi Vendramini () vs. Fares Ziam ()
Jake Collier () vs. Carlos Felipe ()
UFC 263: Israel Adesanya vs. Marvin Vettori 2 – MMA Betting & DFS Preview
UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2
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UFC263 MMA Betting Preview
DATE: SATURDAY 06/12/21
BROADCAST: Pay Per View – Prelims: ESPN
VENUE: Gila River Arena
LOCATION: Glendale, Arizona
of MATCHES: 14
MAIN CARD TAKES, PREDICTIONS & BETS
MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE BOUT (185 LBS): (C) ISRAEL ADESANYA (20-1) VS. #3 MARVIN VETTORI (17-3-1)
Looking forward to this one as questions will be answered after their first fight just a short three years ago resulted in a split decision. Vettori has always thought he won that fight, though I gave it to Adesanya, as did the large majority of media members. Vettori has been chasing this rematch for some time now, and while working his way back, he’s strung five wins in a row, and I believe only losing just one round in the eyes of one judge along the way. Vettori has improved all-around since their first fight, patching up some head movement and level changes, and if Adesanya had anything to prove, it’s his takedown defense.
I’d have to say he’s looked way better with the grappling, though you have to think Vettori will shoot. Vettori’s mentality is impressive, and he is so focused on beating this guy, and he will move forward this entire fight, forcing Adesanya to play some chess, resetting, and looking to take the better offensive position over and over in there. Adesanya is something special, and although he challenged himself moving up to take on the light heavyweight champ in his last fight, which resulted in his first MMA loss, I think the taste of defeat will only help him coming into this one. I expect Vettori to have his moments, but Adesanya’s skillset on the feet is unmatched, and the bigger cage this weekend will work in the champ’s favor.
Prediction: Israel Adesanya
FLYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT (125 LBS): (C) DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO (20-1-1) VS. #1 BRANDON MORENO (18-5-2)
Figueiredo is pretty emotional coming into this one after Moreno downplayed Figueiredo’s injury going into their first fight, resulting in a draw. Figueiredo gave him a little shove at the press face-offs and has been vocal about looking to knock him out early in this one. Moreno had some moments in that first one and caught the champ via some high kicks and won some of the exchanges while also showing some durability. That said, you have to respect the fact that Figueiredo is 20-1, and that one loss really could have gone in his favor against Formiga, who was outstruck in every round, yet landed three takedowns in their fight swaying the judges. Considering Figueiredo wasn’t 100% and had to do two weight cuts in like three weeks in the first meeting with Moreno, he still looked good. I think we will see an even better version this go, and the champ will retain.
Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo
Bet: Figueiredo is parlay worthy
WELTERWEIGHT (170 LBS): #3 LEON EDWARDS (18-3) VS. NATE DIAZ (20-12)
Nate Diaz made me a chunk of change over the years, and in the majority of those cases, it’s been by fading the hype. At 7-7 in his last 14 fights across the last 10 years, he’s proven his ability to show up on the biggest stages, and the guy has no quit. You don’t see this much, but this fight is scheduled for five rounds rather than three despite not being the main event or title fight. I’m not sure it will go all five with the scar tissue issues coupled with Edwards striking ability, but we are about to find out. This is a huge opportunity for Diaz, as if he can knock off Edwards, who has eight wins in a row, Diaz could skip the line with his draw ability. This one matches up two southpaws, and although Diaz will have his moments, Edwards and his movement should score and often. Side note. Diaz smoking marijuana on stage at the presser as the Arizona commission adopts the new UFC rules on usage was a site to see.
Prediction: Leon Edwards
WELTERWEIGHT (170 LBS): #9 DEMIAN MAIA (28-10) VS. #12 BELAL MUHAMMAD (18-3)
Muhammad was due to run it back with Leon Edwards after suffering a pretty nasty eye poke in March but instead is now booked against the lower-ranked Demian Maia. Although up there now at 43 years of age, Maia is a dangerous fight for anyone in the division. Maia has fought the who’s who across his career and his losses over the last ten years or so are just against the very top guys who have either held or challenged the belt. Muhammad got his real first crack at a top guy with his fight against Leon Edwards, who’s extremely overdue for a title shot after racking up eight wins in a row, and up until the eye poke, Edwards had his way with Muhammad on the feet.
Muhammad’s durability is up there and validated during his UFC run, but coming into this one, you have to consider just how many elite grapplers he’s been matched up with. Lima, Good, Sato, Milender, Neal, Means, Mein, Brown, Luque, I could go on, but this will be his first true test against a guy who prefers to take the fight to the mat. Typically, Muhammad will take these strikers down, but I’m not sure he wants to go there in Maia’s case. No Maia’s up there as mentioned at 43 years old, and he’s coming off a TKO loss to Gilbert Burns. I’m not rushing to say Maia’s chin is shot with that result quite yet.
Maia’s only been KO’d twice across 38 fights, and in both cases (Burns and Marquardt in 2009), he ate shots that would hurt most. Muhammad doesn’t pack that kind of power and is more of a decision fighter. He does have four KO/TKO finishes, but he didn’t sleep his opponent in all four of those cases and rather had the fight waved off via TKO. If this stays standing, Muhammad should have the slight edge on the feet by volume as we’ve seen historically, but I see this one hitting the mat at least once, but possibly multiple times, and with Maia being the slightly bigger guy and with that skill set he possesses, things could get interesting.
Prediction: Demian Maia
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (205 LBS): #14 PAUL CRAIG (14-4-1) VS. #15 JAMAHAL HILL (8-0)
Some serious bad blood here. These two do not like each other one bit. We saw a little run-in at the fighter hotel this week where the two had to be separated after jawing at each other in the lobby. Although Craig has improved his striking as of late, I still see this one favoring Jamahal Hill. Craig is a submission machine, but if you look at his resume, he’s struggled with guys flirting with the top 10-15 ranking, and Hill is right there, in my opinion. Hill will be the slightly bigger guy, and he’ll come into this one at 8-0, with his last win coming against former title challenger Ovince St. Preux, where Hill knocked him out inside two rounds.
On more than one occasion, Craig has been outstruck and losing fights, yet somehow been able to sneak a submission late in fights when his opponents wear down a bit. We haven’t seen any gas tank issues from Hill so far, and as a matter of fact, Darko Stosic took him down six times in their fight, yet Hill’s volume was still able to get him the nod. Craig doesn’t want to stand in this one, and Hill’s ability to keep the distance while peppering shots will be the difference-maker. In Craig’s 19 fights, he’s never gone to the final bill, and with the emotion built up and finishing ability from both fighters, I don’t see this one going to a decision either. Expect fireworks.
Prediction: Jamaal Hill
Bet: Hill via TKO/KO -125 (Hill parlay consideration)
PRELIMS TAKES, PREDICTIONS & BETS
LIGHTWEIGHT (155 LBS): #13 DREW DOBER (23-10) VS. BRAD RIDDELL (9-1)
These two will stand and trade, and I expect a good war between these two. Riddell was an established kickboxer before entering MMA and will have the edge in the striking, though Dober has some speed and power that could cause some issues for Riddell. We’ve seen Riddell take some shots against some guys with less skill than Dober. Dober will be a guy that can hang in there and trade with Riddell, and now 35 fights into his pro career, he’s only lost four times in the last six years (12 fights), and all were via submission. I’m not sure if Riddell has ever attempted one.
Prediction: Drew Dober
Bet: Dober -145
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (205 LBS): ERYK ANDERS (13-5) VS. DARREN STEWART (12-6)
This is a rebooking from back in March, where an illegal knee brought it to a no contest. This go, it will be at 205lbs though, so no real weight cut to go through for either guy. In the first fight up until the knee, Anders had his way, and Stewart was about to finish the fight via strikes. I think with this fight at 205, it only helps Anders even more, as he’s the bigger of the two, and I just see Stewart as more of a natural middleweight. I hope this isn’t a trap, but I see Anders finishing what he started just a few short months back.
Prediction: Eryk Anders
WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT (125 LBS): #3 LAUREN MURPHY (14-4) VS. #6 JOANNE CALDERWOOD (15-5)
I may be on my own here, but I like Lauren Murphy in this one. This is Calderwood’s fight all day if this stays standing and we see a striking battle, but I see Murphy using takedowns and control. Calderwood is good at striking from range and keeping distance, but watch for Murphy to close quickly. If she’s able to do this, I see her having the ability to land the takedowns she needs to score from the top across the 15 minutes.
Prediction: Lauren Murphy
FEATHERWEIGHT (145 LBS): #14 MOVSAR EVLOEV (14-0) VS. #15 HAKEEM DAWODU (12-1-1)
This will be a really good fight featuring two studs just on the cusp of entering the top 10 of the featherweight division. I expect the winner here to get a pretty high-profile fight in their next outing. Lots at stake, where Dawodu looks to make it six straight, and Evloev is undefeated entering his 15th professional fight on Saturday. For Dawodu to win this fight on Saturday, he needs to control the distance and fight from the outside, keeping himself as elusive as possible while avoiding the takedowns. Now, as we’ve seen from his fights in the past, it’s highly likely we don’t see that game plan, and Dawodu will close and look to bully. Evloev and his grappling should thrive here, and I expect him to avoid the big shots from Dawodu and eventually land the necessary takedowns to sway the judges in this one.
Prediction: Movsar Evloev
Bet: Evloev parlay consideration
WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT (135 LBS): #11 PANNIE KIANZAD (14-5) VS. ALEXIS DAVIS (20-10)
Kianzad has tightened up her game as of late and has rattled off three straight wins against some decent opponents. Davis had done just the opposite, losing three straight and had her back against the wall, yet came out and beat Sabina Mazo in February as a +205 dog. In that fight, while it was on the feet, Mazo could connect at will, leading to Davis executing her grappling where she landed three takedowns which ultimately was the difference-maker. Kianzad should have a better takedown defense in this fight than Mazo, and while on the feet, Kianzad’s volume should give her the edge. Kianzad has averaged just under 100 significant strikes landed in her last three fights. If she can keep this on the feet, I expect the trend to continue against the 36-year-old vet.
Prediction: Pannie Kianzad
Bet: Kianzad via DECISION -135
LIGHTWEIGHT (155 LBS): TERRANCE MCKINNEY (10-3) VS. MATT FREVOLA (8-2-1)
McKinney stepped in on very short notice after Frank Camacho had to withdraw due to a car accident. Frevola opened up a 3:1 favorite, though McKinney came out fast and looking to finish like no other. McKinney’s aggressiveness has led to 10 victories, all by finish, with nine coming in the very first round. His wild style has also led to three losses via finish, and two of them in less than a minute. If anyone is game to match this style, it’s Matt Frevola. Even though his record as of late wouldn’t back that up, Frevola will go for the finish rather than grinding out a fight and winning rounds.
Prediction: Matt Frevola
Bet: Frevola/McKinney UNDER 2.5 rounds -170
FEATHERWEIGHT (145 LBS): CHASE HOOPER (10-1-1) VS. STEVEN PETERSON (18-9)
The last time Peterson fought in the UFC, Hooper had yet to have his first UFC fight, let alone be of legal age to buy a beer. With the injury bug behind him, Peterson looks to get back on track where he left off when he won via KO (spinning backfist) against Martin Bravo back in 2019. Hooper looks to make it two straight, and if he does, he’ll answer some questions as to if he really should be at the UFC level at just 21 years of age. Interesting fight though, as Peterson is pretty reckless in there and will brawl with little accuracy, while Hooper defends shots with his face at times and brings just a 38% striking defense while on the feet. While both favor the submission game, neither has ever lost in that fashion. Although Hooper will have the height and reach advantage, I don’t think he’ll be able to keep Peterson from coming inside and looking to bully the young prospect. Hooper has recently been training with Ray Thompson, father of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, which should help with the stand-up improvements. We will find out Saturday night.
Prediction: Steven Peterson
LIGHTWEIGHT (155 LBS): FARES ZIAM (11-3) VS. LUIGI VENDRAMINI (9-1)
Both guys are fresh off their first UFC wins and have some momentum rolling coming into this one. While Ziam was able to get the nod in a fairly close fight against Jamie Mullarkey, Vendramini won via head kick KO in highlight fashion against Jessin Ayari last October. The ticket here will be Vendramini putting that head kick in his rearview mirror and implementing the takedown game, as Ziam hasn’t proven anything. Over his last two UFC fights, Ziam has been taken down eight times. That said, Vendramini has the edge on the mat and has a black belt coupled with solid grappling if he puts it to use. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a rear-naked choke attempt along the way that finds success. That +550 sub prop is tempting.
Prediction: Luigi Vendramini
Bet: Vendramini +115
HEAVYWEIGHT (265 LBS): CARLOS FELIPE (10-1) VS. JAKE COLLIER (12-5)
Why not!? Let’s kick off the card with a lower-level heavyweight scrap matching up Jake Collier, who used to fight down at middleweight and has since ballooned up to the 265 lb limit, taking on Carlos Felipe, who probably does more talking in there than landing shots. Regardless, this should be a good one to get things rolling with the live crowd filtering in. Collier got back on track last time out, beating another guy who later in his career moved up to heavyweight, Gian Villante. Before that, he was stopped in 45 seconds via KO when he faced hard-hitting Tom Aspinall in his heavyweight debut. Felipe looks to make it three straight after edging out decisions against Justin Tafa and Yorgan De Castro. In his UFC debut, he lost a very close fight to Sergey Spivak, where Spivak landed three takedowns and controlled a good chunk of the fight on the mat, scoring points with the ringside judges.
Working in Felipe’s favor here is the fact that Collier hasn’t landed a takedown since 2016, and at this weight and with Felipe’s durability, you’d have to think Collier’s gas tank will take a nosedive the more he looks to grapple. Felipe will look to brawl on his feet and keep this one standing. The volume will be key, and if Collier pulls the trigger as he did against Villante, this one could be closer than the oddsmakers have it. I see Felipe coming in as the more motivated fighter here and a guy that he’ll adjust and make the changes needed to get the nod if he drops the first round. I expect Felipe to go to work on the body, and Collier will fade along the way. I can’t trust Felipe at this price though.
Prediction: Carlos Felipe
Hill via TKO/KO -125
Kianzad via DECISION -135
Frevola/McKinney UNDER 2.5 rounds -170
Add Hill +178
(or round robin)
FULL CARD PREDICTIONS
ISRAEL ADESANYA defeats MARVIN VETTORI
DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO defeats BRANDON MORENO
LEON EDWARDS defeats NATE DIAZ
DEMIAN MAIA defeats BELAL MUHAMMAD
JAMAAL HILL defeats PAUL CRAIG
DREW DOBER defeats BRAD RIDDELL
ERYK ANDERS defeats DARREN STEWART
LAUREN MURPHY defeats JOANNE CALDERWOOD
MOVSAR EVLOEV defeats HAKEEM DAWODU
PANNIE KIANZAD defeats. ALEXIS DAVIS
MATT FREVOLA defeats TERRANCE MCKINNEY
STEVEN PETERSON defeats CHASE HOOPER
LUIGI VENDRAMINI defeats FARES ZIAM
CARLOS FELIPE defeats JAKE COLLIER
UFC PREDICTION BET SUMMARY
2021 predictions: 121-93-5 (57%)
2021 wagers: 68-66-2 (51%)
Overall record on SI
Predictions: 502-292-16 (63%)
Wagers: 278-153-8 (65%)
DFS PLAYS & STRATEGIES
Choose active fighters. Coupling an active fighter on his/her way to a unanimous decision will give you key points for your team. Just like any other DFS traditional sport, you want the active, offensive player that scores. Key metrics here are SLpM and TD AVG/15min.
Play the heavyweights. The approximate overall finish rate in the UFC is 54%. Most weight divisions range from 40%-60%, while the heavyweights push a 75% finish rate. You will receive bonus points for finishes inside the distance.
Try always to include the main event or title fights. Five-round fights mean more time to rack up points if you pick the right fighter. In some cases, even if you have the loser, the points can be more than a three-round winner.
Don’t get excited and rush a pick based on stats; consider sample size. Some fighters have limited fights compared to their opponents when looking at metrics. Stats could be exaggerated. Do your research. Watch for spots with debuting fighters as well. Always check the records of the opponents they faced on their way to the UFC. Always pull fight tape as well. You’d be surprised at what you will find.
Review methods of victory. I supply the finish rates within this article, and as you dive in, you can compare method of victory to method of loss for the matchups. For example, you can find matchups where Fighter A has a high % of submission victories matched up with Fighter B, with a high % of submission losses.
As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC 263. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual matchups below.
Two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents; watch your points rack up quickly. Here’s my Offensive Output Meter for the card. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday.
UFC DFS RECOMMENDATIONS
Fighters that typically press the action, land takedowns, and/or high finish rates matched up against those that get finished, roster. (see my charts above)
Fights projected to NOT go to a decision
For the main event, I side with the champ, Figueiredo. Although he only scored 68 in their first fight, which was a draw, he’s scored 90+ in his preceding four fights. Moreno has only scored over 100 once in his last seven fights, and that was the freak arm injury against Royval.
Top tier fighters to build around: Hill, Edwards, Adesanya are all in play.
Mid tier fighter considerations: Frevola, Anders
Live dogs that could score: Vendramini, Maia, Murphy