It’s rare to have a champion defending a title while simultaneously looking to bounce back from a loss. It just makes the journey of UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya that much more interesting.
Just a few months after suffering his first loss in the UFC at the hands of UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz, Adesanya will step back into the Octagon to square off against a familiar foe: middleweight contender Marvin Vettori.
The duo battled back in the days of the UFC’s deal with FOX, competing in the middle of a UFC on FOX 29 card in 2018 that was headlined by Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.
Three years later, the two fighters will return to the same building where they met previously, this time with the division’s biggest prize up for grabs.
Also on the card, fight fans will get another rematch in the night’s co-main event when UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo defends his title against Brandon Moreno.
Moreno gave Figueiredo a run for his money in their last fight at UFC 256 in 2020, even forcing the judges to score the bout a draw. He solidified his case as a contender in the flyweight division, along with his argument for an immediate rematch in 2021.
But, the fight that fans may be most interested in actually finds itself in the middle of the card, as No. 3 welterweight contender Leon Edwards gets set for a five-round fight against a superstar in Nate Diaz.
Diaz, a fan favorite for his antics inside and outside of the Octagon, will fight for the first time since his controversial loss in the UFC 244 main event against Jorge Masvidal in 2019.
While the bout transitioned from a main event on a separate card to a spot in the middle of the UFC 263 slate, the UFC gave fans exactly what they wanted by keeping the bout at five rounds.
The card is shaping up to be one of the stronger events in the UFC’s 2021 calendar, and should be considered must-watch TV for any diehard fight fans.
As you make up an excuse to stay inside on Saturday night while your friends all try to go out to celebrate loosened COVID-19 restrictions, here’s everything you need to know ahead of UFC 263.
When is UFC 263?
UFC 263 will start at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
Where is UFC 263 taking place?
UFC 263 will be broadcast live from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
UFC 263 main card:
Main event for the UFC Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Marvin Vettori (3)
UFC Flyweight Championship bout: Deiveson Figueiredo (c) vs. Brandon Moreno (1)
Five-round welterweight bout: Leon Edwards (3) vs. Nate Diaz
Welterweight bout: Demian Maia (9) vs. Belal Muhammad (12)
Light heavyweight bout: Paul Craig (14) vs. Jamahal Hill (15)
How can I watch the UFC 263 main card and prelims?