The UFC is back on pay-per-view and back in a sold-out arena this weekend in Glendale, Arizon with UFC 263. It features two rematches. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will fight Marvin Vettori in the main event, and Deiveson Figueiredo will defend his belt in the co-main event of the evening. BUT wait, there is more. Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards will fight in a five-round matchup as well. However, if you look past these three fights, there are some under-the-radar storylines.
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Drew Dober vs. Brad Riddell
I have to start with what should be the fight of the night and pure fireworks. Dober and Riddell are two strikers that love to throw down. Riddell has fought two grapplers in his last two recent outings, while Dober faced Khabib vol. 2, Islam Makhachev in his last outing. Both fighters are willing to strike, and it should be an entertaining fight. It is the ESPN featured prelim for a reason. Riddell also has the opportunity to finally get into the top 15 lightweight rankings with a win. He can snatch Dober’s No. 13 ranking.
Flyweight No. 1 Contender Fight
It is kind of crazy why Lauren Murphy vs. Joanne Calderwood isn’t on the main card, as they are pretty much fighting for the next shot at Valentina Shevchenko. If we’re being honest, Murphy should be next in line already, but she is doing what Calderwood did last year and putting her title shot on the line. If you remember, Calderwood was announced as the next title challenger; however, she took a fight against Jennifer Maia to stay active and lost. Murphy comes into the fight ranked No. 3 and on a four-fight win streak. Calderwood comes into the fight ranked No. 6.
Welcome to the UFC, Terrance McKinney
McKinney makes his UFC debut on less than a week’s notice as he steps in for Frank Camacho, who was in a car accident. (We at MyMMANews wish him a healthy recovery) McKinney fought in the main event of LFA 109 just last Friday, where he knocked out Michael Irizarry in the first round. “T-Wrecks” is on a three-fight win streak with three first-round finishes. He holds a 100% finish rate and should be a fantastic addition to the stacked lightweight division. McKinney is much watch television and, honestly, should have been in the UFC a couple of years ago. Oh well, he is here now.
Karate Chase Hooper?
Chase Hooper returns to the octagon for his fourth UFC fight. Fun fact: Hooper has only been on PPV, so the UFC likes him. In his last few fights, he has been pretty outclassed on the feet. Well, he went to train with Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson after his last fight, and we might see a very different Hooper. We also have to remember; the kid is 21 years old. Hooper is fighting Steven Peterson, who is very well round and good on his feet. Peterson did miss weight by 2.8 pounds as well. We might just be in for a treat with ‘Karate Chase Hooper.’
Demian Maia’s Last Fight
While it’s not official, and Maia did say if UFC President Dana White gives him another fight, he will take it; this might be the UFC veteran’s last fight. The jiu-jitsu legend enters for his 33rd UFC fight. He fights another tough prospect in Belal Muhammad, who is looking to add Maia’s name to his resume. If this is Maia’s last UFC fight, watch it with a smile because he is one of a kind, and he has given us some memories.
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MMA and Entertainment Journalist. Graduated from CSUN with a B.A in Journalism. I love MMA and have been watching consistently since 2004.