Marvin Vettori’s chance to make history as the first ever Italian UFC champion at UFC 263 was shut down by the leg kicks of middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
History was instead made in the co-main event as Brandon Moreno choked out Deveison Figueiredo to become the UFC’s first Mexican born flyweight champion. The main event, however, was a whole different animal.
Adesanya (21-1-0) punished Vettori (17-5-1) with leg kicks and strikes, while Vettori struggled to secure the takedowns needed to sway the judges. Save for a rear-naked choke scare for Adesanya in the third round, Vettori was left trying to deal wth strikes.
All three judges scored it 50-45, 50-45, and 50-45.
The win returns Adesanya to victory and takes out much of the sting of his light heavyweight title loss to Jan Blachowicz. Vettori’s five fight win streak was snapped Saturday night.
Adesanya said in the post-fight press conference that Vettori disputed the results after the fight, and needs to “look in the mirror” if he truly wants to improve.
Meanwhile, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Jamahal Hill, who seemed to suffer a broken arm to Paul Craig, only suffered a dislocated arm. Doctors afterwards popped the arm back into place and he now has full range of motion.
Moreno and Paul Craig earned performances of the night, while Drew Dober and Brad Riddell earned Fight of the Night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC 263 FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
CARLOS FELIPE VS. JAKE COLLIER
WINNER: CARLOS FELIPE VIA SD (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAKE COLLIER VIA TKO
Andrews: Consistency once again bit Jake here.
FARES ZIAM VS. LUIGI VENDRAMINI
WINNER: FARES ZIAM VIA MAJORITY DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: LUIGI VENDRAMINI VIA TKO
Andrews: Too little, too late for Luigi.
CHASE HOOPER VS. STEVEN PETERSON
WINNER: STEVEN PETERSON VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: CHASE HOOPER VIA UD
Andrews: Remember, Peterson missed weight. Hooper needs to improve his striking, relying on dragging the guy to the ground will not work well going forward.
MATT FREVOLA VS. TERRENCE MCKINNEY
A 7-SECOND KO DEBUT ⚡️⚡️⚡️
— UFC (@ufc) June 12, 2021
WINNER: TERRENCE MCKINNEY VIA KO (PUNCH) R1 0:07
ANDREWS PREDICTION: TERRENCE MCKINNEY VIA TKO
Andrews: Wow! In his debut fight, McKinney ties a record for fourth-fastest finish ever. Easy on the celebration though. Don’t want to injure something like a knee after a performance like that.
#11 PANNIE KIANZAD VS. ALEXIS DAVIS
WINNER: PANNIE KIANZAD VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: PANNIE KIANZAD VIA UD
Andrews: Pannie grinds out another one. Good win.
#14 MOVSAR EVLOEV VS. #15 HAKEEM DAWODU
WINNER: MOVSAR EVLOEV VIA UD (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: HAKEEM DOWODU VIA SD
Andrews: Evloev just too much to handle in the early rounds.
#3 LAUREN MURPHY VS. #6 JOANNE CALDERWOOD
WINNER: LAUREN MURPHY VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: LAUREN MURPHY VIA UD
Andrews: Murphy took the first rounds then hung on as she fatigued and Jojo took advantage.
ERYK ANDERS VS. DARREN STEWART
— UFC (@ufc) June 13, 2021
WINNER: ERYK ANDERS VIA UD (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ERYK ANDERS VIA UD
Andrews: Eryk gets the big win.
#13 DREW DOBER VS. BRAD RIDDELL
WINNER: BRAD RIDDELL VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DREW DOBER VIA UD
Andrews: Riddell definitely outworked Dober for the win.
PAUL CRAIG VS. JAMAHAL HILL
WINNER: PAUL CRAIG VIA TECH SUBMISSION (ARMBAR) R1 1:59
ANDREWS PREDICTION: JAMAHAL HILL VIA TKO
Andrews: Wow! The referee did not do his job here, it may saved Hill’s arm if he did.
DEMIAN MAIA VS. BELAL MUHAMMAD
WINNER: BELAL MUHAMMAD VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: BELAL MUHAMMAD VIA UD
Andrews: Muhammad knew well to keep the fight on the ground. Maia now walks off into the sunset with a good career.
#3 LEON EDWARDS VS. NATE DIAZ
WINNER: LEON EDWARDS VIA UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: LEON EDWARDS VIA UD
Andrews: Good win for Edwards, got caught late in the last round, but Rocky did well. Diaz is still tough, but could not compete for most of the fight.
DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO VS. BRANDON MORENO
WINNER: BRANDON MORENO VIA SUBMISSION (RNC) R3 2:26
ANDREWS PREDICTION: DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO VIA UD
Andrews: Wow! What a story for Moreno. Another excellent performance and now he is in the history books for Mexico.
ISRAEL ADESANYA VS. MARVIN VETTORI
WINNER: ISRAEL ADESANYA VIA UD (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
ANDREWS PREDICTION: ISREAL ADESANYA VIA UD
PICCININO PREDICTION: ISRAEL ADESANYA VIA UD
Andrews: Adesanya returned to form and stifled the takedown plans of Vettori. Good call, Shaun!
The UFC’s next event is UFC Vegas 29, scheduled for June 19 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The Korean Zombie, Chang Sung Jung takes on Dan Ige in the main event.