Matchmaker Monday following UFC 263

Matchmaker Monday following UFC 263

UFC 263 was a night for the stars.

In the main event, UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya defeated Marvin Vettori to retain his title. In the co-main event, Brandon Moreno became the first fighter from Mexico to win a UFC championship. Finally, Nate Diaz, who lost was to Leon Edwards by unanimous decision, was still a hit with the fans despite the loss.

Now that the event is over, let’s fight out what’s next for the men involved in the three five-round fights on the card on this edition of Matchmaker Monday.

Israel Adesanya
Result: defeated Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision at UFC 263
Next: Robert Whittaker

Adesanya continues to rule over the middleweights.

After coming off his first career loss at light heavyweight, Izzy continued to do Izzy things at 185-pounds and now there’s only one fight out there for him and that’s Whittaker.

Ever since Whittaker lost his title to Adesanya, he has looked the best he’s ever looked. Over his last three fights, Whittaker has been as close to flawless as you can get.

The rematch has all the makings of great fight. The fans should expect it sometime in the fall.

Marvin Vettori
Result: lost to Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision at UFC 263
Next: Paulo Costa

Vettori fought to win and whatever doubts anyone had about him should be gone.

While the judges scored the fight 50-45, the fight was definitely closer than that as rounds one and three definitely could have swung in his favor.

Nonetheless, he’s still going to have to earn another crack at a UFC championship fight and that road should begin with Costa.

Right now, Costa and the UFC are having a disagreements on money, but as soon as its resolved, he’ll need an opponent. That’s where Vettori fits the bill.

If it’s not Costa, Vettori will get a top ranked middleweight contender for sure.

Brandon Moreno
Result: defeated Deiveson Figueiredo by third-round submission at UFC 263
Next: Askar Askarov

Moreno’s dream to become a UFC champion is now a reality.

Figueiredo is a stud and Moreno made it look easy on Saturday. All the credit in the world goes to Moreno and now the road to gold at flyweight will go through Mexico.

Moreno’s next opponent should be Askarov, who is undefeated. There is a draw on his record though. That draw came against Moreno.

The rematch is next.

Deiveson Figueiredo
Result: lost to Brandon Moreno by third-round submission at UFC 263
Next: bantamweight

Figueiredo’s biggest opponent at flyweight has been the scale. He missed weight once in a title opportunity and he just barely made weight for his fight on Saturday as he made stepped on the scale with one minute to spare.

Following the event, UFC president Dana White said his post-fight press conference that Figueiredo is stud and he thinks he looked off due to his trouble with the scale.

Clearly Figueiredo can’t keep hurting himself cutting down to flyweight so a move to bantamweight should be next. If that’s the case, the deep 135 pound division just got deeper. Anyone in the top 10 can become champion on any given day and any of those opponents is an option for Figueiredo.

Leon Edwards
Result: defeated Nate Diaz by unanimous decision at UFC 263
Next: Jorge Masvidal

Edwards is on the brink of fighting for a UFC title.

Colby Covington is next for reigning champion Kamaru Usman, so Edwards next fight will not be for the title.

His next fight will have bad blood though. Remember the famous three piece and a soda comment from Masvidal? He gave that Edwards and ever since Edwards has been dying to get his hands on Masvidal. He’ll get his opportunity to do that in his next fight.

Nate Diaz
Result: lost to Leon Edwards by unanimous decision at UFC 263
Next: Conor McGregor (if McGregor losses to Dustin Poirier in July)

It’s been said time-and-time again. The UFC can book McGregor and Diaz whenever they want and it will sell a boat load of pay-per-view buys.

That fight may happen sooner than later.

If McGregor losses to Poirier in July, both McGregor and Diaz would be coming off of multiple losses. If that’s the case it seems likely that it’ll be time to finally book that trilogy.

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John Eric Poli